A detail worthy of his Hall of Fame resume.
Victor Hedman was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner and the most valuable player of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs in the celebrations that followed the Tampa Bay Lightning clinching their second championship in franchise history Monday night.
Hedman scored the third-most goals from a defenseman in postseason history, finishing just two shy of the record set by Paul Coffey with the Edmonton Oilers in 1985. He also notched 10 assists for 22 points over the course of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup run, which was good for the fifth-most in the entire postseason.
Both Kucherov and Brayden Point finished with more production than Hedman, and they were certainly deserving candidates as well. But the workhorse defender made up the difference in the eyes of the voting committee with his complete body of work and overall dominant presence over the last two months for the NHL’s bubble winners.
The pseudo captain for the Lightning in the absence of Steven Stamkos, Hedman logged over 24 minutes on average in his 25 postseason games while tackling the toughest matchups for Jon Cooper. It seemed he swung the advantage in the Lightning’s favour with virtually every shift.
This is a legacy moment for Hedman, who might now have the requirements to enter the Hall of Fame if he walked away from the game right now.
This is a four-time Norris Trophy finalist, one-time recipient, and now both a Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe Trophy winner over a career that now spans 11 seasons.
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