LA Kings announce 2021-22 team awards

Good afternoon, Insiders!

Coverage from today’s practice to follow in a couple of hours, as I work through all of today’s audio and storylines! Sharing this information from earlier in the day, however, as it relates to the team’s 2021-22 LA Kings Team Awards, with several Kings players honored by a variety of different parties.

As Voted by the Media
Most Valuable Player – “Bill Libby Memorial Award”:
Phillip Danault (first time)

Best Newcomer – “Mark Bavis Memorial Award”:
Phillip Danault

Outstanding Defenseman:
Matt Roy (second time, also 2019-20)

Defensive Player:
Trevor Moore (first time)

The first four awards were voted on by the working media, myself included, honoring three players across four categories. Phillip Danault, who you’ll see a few times here in this post, was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player and the team’s Best Newcomer. The impact stemming from the addition of Danault is quite obvious in terms of his statistical contribution, his play away from the puck, his presence as a consistent leader and his slot in the lineup, making others around him better and filling an important role. I voted for Danault as the MVP myself and he’s naturally fitting of both honors.

“A thank you to all of you guys, teammates, the organization, the fans, thank you very much,” Danault said today. “It’s a big honor for me, I did not expect that at all in my first year and the organization and my teammates have helped me a lot. It makes this way easier, being my first year, and my linemates too, Arvy and Mooresy, they’ve been awesome for me. I didn’t win those awards by myself, they helped me a lot, so thanks again to everyone.”

Matt Roy and Trevor Moore were also honored by the media, selected as the team’s most Outstanding Defenseman and Best Defensive Player respectively. Hard to argue with either. Roy’s GA/60 is one of the best in the entire NHL, keeping the puck out of his net as well as anyone. It’s his second career win, going along with the 2019-20 season. Moore was tied for the lead amongst all NHL players during the regular season with five shorthanded goals and six shorthanded points. Moore won this award for the first time, his second ever award win after he was voted as the team’s “unsung hero” by his teammates during the 2020-21 campaign. More on that below.

Jesse Cohen of the All The Kings Men podcast and I detailed our own selections for the team awards on a recent podcast, can listen to our reasoning embedded below –

As Voted by the Players
“Ace Bailey Memorial Award” as Most Inspirational:
Phillip Danault (first time)

Unsung Hero:
Blake Lizotte (first time)

The Most Inspirational award gives Danault his third piece of hardware on the season, and it validates what the media felt about him as well. When those in the room and those outside the room agree, it tends to be pretty spot on. Danault’s quote above was all-encompassing for those honors, feeling the appreciation of those voting and those around him who put him in a position to be successful.

Regarding Lizotte, his honor is not surprising either. Lizotte is that hard-working, gives it all kind of player, breaking what has been a Trevor-centric run. Former King Trevor Lewis won the award seven times in his career with the organization, with Trevor Moore winning it last season. Another nice acknowledgment for Lizotte, who has also been validated with a two-year contract extension and a Masterton nomination over the last month.

“I think Blake does it every day, he’s passionate, he has so much heart and we’re very fortunate to have Blake,” 2021 winner Moore said today. “I think when guys play against him, they’re probably pretty annoyed because he’s a pest out there and he can do it on both sides of the puck, all the time.”

As Voted on by Fans
Player of the Year – presented by McDonald’s:
Phillip Danault (first time)

With more than 50 percent of the vote, Phillip Danault was the winner of the fan-voted Player of the Year Award, bringing the fans in line with the media and players. Being his first year on the team, it’s naturally his first win in this category as well.

As Voted on by the LA Kings Booster Club
Most Popular Player:
Adrian Kempe (first time)

Good to see Kempe get a piece of the action after his breakout, 35-goal season. Kempe has never won a team award, and with the strong season he’s pulled together, I’m sure he was considered in a few categories this year, but winds up with recognition from the LA Kings Booster Club. Kempe joins teammates Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, Quick and Lizotte as active winners of the award.

As Voted on by the Kings Care Foundation
Jim Fox Community Service:
Dustin Brown (fourth time, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11)

As Voted on by the LA Kings Hockey Development Department
Daryl Evans Youth Hockey Service:
Dustin Brown (first time)

Dustin Brown was honored twice for his service to the local community this season, both by the Kings Care Foundation for overall community service and by the Kings Hockey Development Department, for work in youth hockey specifically. A couple of additional notches here to commemorate his off-ice work, as well as his on-ice contributions.

In addition:
Anze Kopitar is the Kings leading scorer for the 14th time (five consecutive years). The 14 times are the most by any player in franchise history (next closest is Marcel Dionne who won it nine times). He joins Gordie Howe (17 times) as the only two players in NHL history to lead the same team in points at least 14 times.

Blake Lizotte was selected as the club’s Masterton Memorial Trophy nominee as selected by the Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PWHA).

Cal Petersen has been nominated by the Kings for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.

Kopitar has been the team’s leading scorer in 14 of his 16 seasons with the Kings organization. The only years in which Kopitar did not lead the team in scoring were his rookie season (Mike Cammalleri) and in 2016-17 (Jeff Carter). This season, Kopitar finished with 67 points (19-48-67), his highest total since the 2017-18 campaign. Kopitar collected 45+ assists and 65+ points for the eighth times respectively in his NHL career.

For more on Lizotte’s Masterton nomination, see this article HERE. A deserving and worthy recognition for a hard-working player. Nice to see Petersen recognized as well with a nomination for the King Clancy, showing his character both on and off the ice.

Coverage from today’s practice, which wrapped up with interviews just a bit ago, to follow here on LAKI. Plenty of storylines from today as we look forward to the postseason.

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