The Ted Lindsay Award is essentially a second Hart Trophy, only given by the players. Their unique perspective usually produces a set of finalist players others don’t like to face in a game. Connor McDavid is a perennial finalist because no one wants to be made to look stupid by his brilliant mind. McDavid won the award last season, his third time.

The [Ted Lindsay Award] is presented annually “to the most outstanding player in the NHL,” as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.

Josi is seeking his first TLA as a first-time finalist, while McDavid is looking to receive his second consecutive and fourth TLA in six seasons, and Matthews is vying for his first TLA after finishing as a finalist last season. Each of the three finalists contributed exceptional individual seasons to help their respective teams reach the playoffs  Josi led all defencemen in points, McDavid captured his fourth Art Ross Trophy and Matthews won his second Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Earlier this week, Josi was also announced as a finalist for the James Norris Trophy, and Matthews and McDavid were each named finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

The Ted Lindsay Award is unique as the only award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established with the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1970-71. NHLPA members annually vote on the player they deem to be the most outstanding in the NHL regular season. Reintroduced in 2009-10 as the namesake of the late Ted Lindsay  the Ted Lindsay Award honours his legacy as a Hall of Fame forward known for skill, tenacity, leadership and his role in establishing the original Players’ Association.

It’s often interesting to see the difference between what the players think and the PHWA in the Lindsay vs Hart votes. But this year, the top two are just too obvious, and yet there’s something interesting about players ignoring the most irritating goalie to face in favour of Norris finalist defender. Roman Josi has had a very good season, mostly on the offensive side and with excellent power play results. Perhaps to other players a big, strong defender who is also lurking in the offensive zone ready to generate points is nearly as intimidating as McDavid and Matthews.

The awards will be handed out before the final round of the playoffs, and it is my fervent desire that Auston Matthews is delightfully irritated at this interruption to his playoffs preparation.