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The 2017-18 season was not kind to the Calgary Flames, who missed the playoffs for the seventh time in nine seasons, but there were still positives.
Some of them will be highlighted below as I hand out major awards to the Flames players I feel most deserving.
Let's get to it.
Art Ross: Johnny Gaudreau
With 84 points in 80 games, Gaudreau ran away with the scoring title. Sean Monahan was the closest challenger and he finished with 20 fewer points, although missing a handful of games at the end of the year factored in.
It's pretty amazing Gaudreau managed to put up such impressive totals considering the power play was an absolute disaster all season long. If it was remotely effective, and the Flames snuck into the playoffs, we'd probably be talking about Gaudreau as a potential Hart Trophy candidate.
Rocket Richard: Sean Monahan
Predictably, Monahan once again led the Flames in goals (31) and goals per game (.42). Matthew Tkachuk could have given him a run if he didn't miss so much time towards the end of the year but unfortunately that's not the reality we live in. Maybe Tkachuk will get him next year (probably not).
Hart: Johnny Gaudreau
Injuries to Monahan and Tkachuk played a role, but Gaudreau led the team in points by 20 and finished 35 clear of 3rd place. He was a threat each and every night and one of the lone bright spots during what turned out to be a horrible 2nd half of the year for the Flames. It's too bad the depth on the team provided nothing and ensured the Flames wasted an elite year from their best player.
Norris: Dougie Hamilton
He finished tied for 1st among NHL defensemen in goals, was a one-man shooting gallery, and posted exceptional underlying numbers while playing top pairing minutes against high-end competition on a nightly basis.
A strong case could also be made for his partner Mark Giordano.
Selke: Matthew Tkachuk
Tkachuk posted the best shot attempt and scoring chance suppression numbers among regular Flames forwards. He also finished tied for 2nd in goals and 3rd in points despite missing 14 games. By any measurement, he was terrific at both ends of the ice this season. He's turning into a star.
Calder: Mark Jankowski
Jankowski pretty much wins by default. He quietly had a solid year. Sure, he hit some ruts along the way – all players do – but 17 goals in 72 games for a guy playing 13 minutes a game is solid production. Hopefully he can build on that next year with better surrounding pieces in the bottom-6.
Vezina: Mike Smith
Much like the guys in front of him, he struggled mightily down the stretch. Still, he banked the Flames a lot of points early in the year and a .916 save percentage is probably something management would have been content getting when they traded for him.
Setting the table for the 2018 off-season
On the possibility of trading into the 1st round