2016 Wings Nation Awards

Dylan Larkin isn’t winning the Calder Trophy tonight, Pavel Datsyuk isn’t winning the Selke, Jeff Blashill isn’t winning the Jack Adams and Jimmy Howard (or Petr Mrazek) isn’t winning the Vezina. The NHL awards don’t really have a ton of relevance to the Wings, but in fairness, there wasn’t a whole lot that was spectacular about this season.

But without further ado, here’s the winners of the first annual Wings Nation awards:

MVP: Dylan Larkin

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, though there’s still room for debate (as there was with our writers, where Datsyuk and Mrazek both received a vote each.)

Dylan Larkin was on fire and terrifying defences throughout the league this season, but still finished just third on the team in scoring. However, given the context of what he had to work with and that he was the youngest Wing in a generation, he had a heck of an individual season, even if the team didn’t.

Best defenceman award: Brendan Smith

You can see where our staff would have had trouble giving out this award, as Smith was often cast off as a bottom pairing defenceman, or even a healthy scratch. Numbers never lie though, and though Smith’s numbers may have never made it to the team’s front office and coaching staff, it was clear he was having a heck of a season – evidenced by his 56.9 CF%, tops amongst Red Wings defencemen.

Most sportsmanlike award: Andreas Athanasiou

Athanasiou won the most sportsmanlike award not for his on-ice play. He won it for not physically fighting Jeff Blashill for more playing time even though he was producing at an elite offensive rate when he was getting played. 

Most improved award: Petr Mrazek 

Petr Mrazek really stepped up to the plate this season in his first year as a true #1 goalie and in all honesty, probably carried this team to the playoffs. Had he been just marginally worse and the Wings dropped another point or two, we would’ve seen the playoff streak snapped at 24. 

Set him on fire award & worst contract award: Jonathan Ericsson

Jonathan Ericsson walks away with two awards. Incredible story.