A total of 13 awards were handed out at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, last night, in a ceremony that included more than a couple moments. Before getting to who won what there are two things which happened last night that need to be discussed. The first is a speech given by New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner; who showed the world what he can do once he sought help for his mental illness – post a franchise record .930 save percentage. He also showed he was not afraid to speak out about the issue when he accepted his Bill Masterson Trophy.
“I’m not ashamed to say I’m mentally ill, but that doesn’t mean mentally weak."
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 20, 2019
In what might be one of the more powerful lines delivered of late on mental illness – “I’m not ashamed to say I’m mentally ill. But that doesn’t mean mentally weak,” Lehner proclaimed. “We’ve got to end the stigma.”
But that wasn’t the only powerful moment last night, there was also a surprise cameo which may have brought tears to the eyes of everyone in the house and watching at home. It involved a young man who became well known thanks to a touching moment rink-side with Carey Price which went viral on social media back in February: You can find it in this tweet from the NHL.
This is everything — this young fan, Anderson, met his idol @CP0031, after his mother passed away due to cancer. She had promised him that she would do everything in her power to help the two meet and it happened. This right here is hockey. #OurGreatGame
(🎥 FB/ Tammy Whitehead) pic.twitter.com/ww6jLM2yoF
— NHL (@NHL) March 1, 2019
The young man is Anderson Whitehead, who lost his mother to cancer, and he was invited onstage partway through the ceremonies last night for a special video message from his idol.
The Montreal Canadiens goaltender abruptly cut his video short, however, and strolled onstage to surprise his young fan in-person, presenting Anderson with a crisp new Habs sweater and a personal invite to next winter’s all-star game in St. Louis.
— NHL (@NHL) June 20, 2019
The answer to whether he would go to the All-Star game was of course; yes.
Once you’ve dried your eyes you can find the full list of winners below.
Complete Results from the 2019 NHL Awards:
Hart Trophy: Nikita Kucherov
Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Rico Phillips
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Wayne Simmonds
Vezina Trophy: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Jack Adams Award: Barry Trotz
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Ryan O’Reilly
Bill Masterton Trophy: Robin Lehner
James Norris Trophy: Mark Giordano
Ted Lindsay Award: Nikita Kucherov
King Clancy Trophy: Jason Zucker
General Manager of the Year: Don Sweeney
Lady Byng Trophy: Aleksander Barkov
Calder Trophy: Elias Pettersson