The NHL is hopeful that the regular season will continue, but with each passing day, that seems unlikely.
If the regular season were declared over, here would be my selections for the annual Flyers awards:
Bobby Clarke Trophy (team MVP): Sean Couturier.
Besides being the Flyers’ best defensive forward, Couturier was their top all-around player. Playing in all situations, he has 22 goals and 59 points and leads the team with a plus-21 rating and a league-best 59.6 faceoff percentage.
From here, Couturier is followed by Travis Konecny and Carter Hart.
Barry Ashbee Trophy (top defenseman): Ivan Provorov.
Rebounding from a disappointing season, Provorov leads Flyers defensemen in goals (13), points (36), and time on ice per game (24:50, eighth in NHL). His new defensive partner, veteran Matt Niskanen, helped fuel Provorov’s resurgence.
Provorov tops NHL defensemen with seven power-play goals.
Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy (most improved player): Scott Laughton.
A hard-nosed player at both ends of the ice, the versatile Laughton was having his best pro year when the season was suspended.
Laughton played center and left wing, and was an effective player whether on the second line or on the third or fourth units. He was also a solid performer on an improved penalty kill. Despite having his season interrupted by finger and groin injuries, Laughton has 13 goals, 27 points, and a plus-13 rating in 49 games. A year ago, he had 12 goals, 32 points, and a minus-11 rating in 82 games.
Gene Hart Memorial Award (player who shows the most heart): Travis Konecny.
He had two goals and three points when the Flyers opened their season with a win over Chicago in Prague -- and never let up. His scrappiness and energy helped push the team to a 106-point pace.
When the season was stopped, Konecny had 24 goals (equaling his career high) and a personal-best 61 points, leading the Flyers in both categories. He also was a first-time All-Star selection and led the team with 23 power-play points,
Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award, presented to the player who best illustrates character, dignity, and respect for the sport – on and off the ice: Oskar Lindblom.
Lindblom, a humble sort, shared the team lead with 11 goals when his season stunningly ended in December after a rare form of bone cancer was diagnosed in the 23-year-old left winger. During cancer treatments, Lindblom occasionally made surprise appearances in the locker room, and his upbeat personality became the Flyers’ inspiration – “Oskar Strong” became their rallying cry.
Toyota Cup, presented to the player who had the most Star of the Game points: Konecny, who had 43 points after the Flyers’ last game, edging Kevin Hayes (42) and Carter Hart (40). Points are awarded on a five (first star), three (second star), and one (third star) basis.
Konecny and Hayes (23 goals) were having career seasons, and Hart (2.42 GAA, .914 save percentage), in his first full year in the NHL, had a 24-13-3 record.