LAS VEGAS, Nev. – It truly doesn’t matter what the NHL awards show brings for Henrik Sedin. His off-season highlight is already secured.
The Vancouver Canucks forward and his wife Johanna celebrated the birth of their second child, Harry, on May 12 and there’s nothing that will top that here this week. Sedin is guaranteed to walk away with the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading point-getter and is also nominated for both MVP awards—the Hart Trophy (voted by media) and Ted Lindsay Award (voted by players).
Even if he takes both of those honours on Wednesday at the Palms Casino&Resort, it won’t be the most memorable part of the summer.
“This is hockey,” Sedin said Tuesday. “It shows you had a good season and everything, I really enjoy being here. We’ll see what happens.
“(After becoming a father again), everything’s a bonus.”
He seems genuinely honoured to have been nominated alongside Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin—two former winners of both awards.
The 29-year-old had a monster season with a career-high 112 points. Prior to that, he and twin brother Daniel had established themselves as point-a-game players and Henrik never thought they’d achieve much more.
“We thought that we could compete with (Crosby and Ovechkin) on a nightly basis,” said Sedin. “We didn’t feel that we were that much worse playing against them. But they put up so many points, they’re unbelievable players.
“To be here after 82 games, I never thought (it would happen).”
Crosby says he’s been enjoying a summer that was a little longer than expected after the Penguins were bounced from the second round of the playoffs by Montreal. He initially took some time to play golf and go fishing, but has since resumed his workout routine.
Win or lose on Wednesday, the Penguins captain is proud of a “consistent” season where he cracked the 50-goal barrier for the first time. Crosby doesn’t think there’s much separating his performance from what Sedin and Ovechkin accomplished.
“At the end of the day, there’s three pretty good seasons there,” he said. “I don’t think anyone will be hanging their head about their season whatever the result is.”
The NHL awards show is back in Las Vegas for the second straight year and a number of the nominees seemed excited by that fact.
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard wore a big grin while talking of plans to visit a popular nightclub. That’s one thing the 26-year-old can do that the two other Calder Trophy nominees can’t—Avalanche forward Matt Duchene and Sabres defenceman Tyler Myers are both too young to drink or gamble in the city.
Duchene said it wouldn’t keep him from having fun.
“From my balcony, I looked down and I saw a pool where you can basically sit in it and just hang out,” he said. “So I’m thinking that might be my next destination after this thing here.”
Crosby is visiting the city for the first time ever.
“I’m excited to see what it’s like,” he said. “I’m only here for two days. I’m sure that will be enough.”
He wasn’t the only one expecting to have his eyes opened.
“We don’t have anything like this in Sweden, I’ll tell you that,” said Sedin.