We have talked about some trophies, such as the Art Ross trophy, the Hart Memorial Trophy, and even the Calder trophy. The NHL has many trophies, and they are given to players either for their performance or stats. The way these trophies are awarded can be by ranking players based on a certain stat or by voting for the PHWA.
However, today we will be talking about a different type of trophy in the NHL – the Ted Lindsay Award. It is synonymous with the Hart Memorial trophy, but it has some differences that make it unique.
Before we begin, let us take a background check into the origin and history of the Ted Lindsay Award in the NHL.
History Of The Ted Lindsay Award
Not always known by the name it has today, the Ted Lindsay Award. The name Ted Lindsay didn’t appear until April 29, 2010.
The first award for the most outstanding player of the season was given at the conclusion of the 1970–71 NHL regular season. The Lester B. Pearson Award was the previous name of the award.
Lester B. Pearson served as the 14th Canadian Prime Minister. Prior to taking office as prime minister, Pearson achieved significant advancements for Canada’s peace and progress, which led to his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. He also served as the University of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s ice hockey team coach. The Ted Lindsay Award was formerly given in his honor because of all of his contributions to ice hockey.
The Lester B. Pearson Award was given for 38 seasons before being renamed the Ted Lindsay Award by the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) in recognition of Lindsay’s contributions to the NHL and the foundation of the NHLPA as well as his influence on the league.
Since then, the award has retained its new title and strengthened its distinction from other league honors. What, however, specifically distinguishes this honor?
About The Ted Lindsay Award
The Ted Lindsay Award, as mentioned earlier, is given to the most outstanding player of the NHL regular season. One factor that makes this award different from the Hart Memorial Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player of the season, is that, unlike the Hart Trophy, the winners are not picked by the PHWA but by the NHLPA (the NHL Players’ Association).
While the PHWA gives the Hart Trophy to the player who was the most instrumental in his team, the NHLPA gives Ted Lindsay to the player who is deemed to have played best by the association of NHL players.
This makes it an award for players, by players. The award is given annually and can be won multiple times by players, irrespective of the position they play.
The first trophy given to the most outstanding player from 1971 was retired in 2019 and replaced with another trophy. Both the new award and the new award feature is a closely similar build.
While the first trophy features a hockey player placed on a long triangular support with the inscription “The Lester B. Pearson Award”, the new trophy is more refined with a small statue of Ted Lindsay.
Ted Lindsay Award Winners
Throughout the past 53 years, the Ted Lindsay Award has been given out 52 times. This is owing to the NHL season being postponed because of the 2004–05 lockout. It is given out at the NHL awards presentation.
The teams with the most honors and some of the most recent winners will be discussed in this section.
NHL Player With Most Ted Linsay Awards
The NHL player with the most Ted Lindsay awards, Wayne Gretzky, won five of them during the course of his playing career. He received his first Ted Lindsay Award during the 1981–82 season and went on to receive it four times in a row (the 1981-82 season all the way to the 1984-85 season).
Mario Lemieux receiving the honor in 1985–86, was the only hindrance in his winning streak. However, the next season, Gretzky would go on to win it, making it the fifth and last Ted Lindsay award. All of Gretzky’s Ted Lindsay awards were given to him while he was with the Edmonton Oilers.
Mario Lemieux and Connor McDavid, both of whom have won the Ted Lindsay Award four times each, are the only players to have come close to as many Ted Lindsay Awards as Wayne Gretzky. Throughout a 20-year period, Lemieux won the award four times. Getting them through the:
- 1985-86 season
- 1987-88 season
- 1992-93 season
- 1995-96 season
Nonetheless, Connor McDavid received his first two victories back-to-back in the 2016–17 and 2017–18 campaigns. Later, during the 2020–21 season, he won his third trophy, and most recently, during the just–completed 2022–23 season.
The list of elite athletes with the most Ted Lindsay honors is displayed below, along with the total amount of accolades they have collected over their careers.
NHL Teams With Most Ted Linsay Awards
The Edmonton Oilers are the NHL franchise with the most Ted Lindsay Awards presented to players on their roster. There have been 11 Ted Lindsay awards given to Edmonton Oilers players who have excelled during a regular season.
Five of the 11 championships its roster members have helped them win were made possible by Wayne Gretzky while he played in the league. The four trophies held by Connor McDavid bring the total number to nine.
Leon Draisaitl and Mark Messier are the final players who bring the total count to 11 trophies for the Edmonton Oilers. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have won 10 Ted Lindsay trophies, are second to the Edmonton Oilers on the list.
|NHL Teams||No. Of Ted Lindsay Awards|
|New York Rangers||3|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||1|
|Detroit Red Wings||2|
|Los Angeles Kings||2|
|St Louis Blues||2|
|Tampa Bay Lightnings||2|
Recent Winners Of The Ted Lindsay Award
The award by the NHLPA has been given numerously. But in this section, we want to talk about four of the most recent winners of the Ted Lindsay Award. We will be starting from the 2022-23 season and counting backward to the most recent winners.
The center of the Edmonton Oilers, Connor McDavid, is the most recent recipient of the NHLPA’s 2022–23 award for the most outstanding player of the regular season. Not only is he the champion of the recently finished season, but also of the 2020–21, 2017–18, and 2016–17 seasons.
The four-time Ted Lindsay Award winner is renowned for his superb center play as well as his quickness, which allows him to move swiftly and score goals.
Auston Matthews has been named the Ted Lindsay Award recipient for 2021–2022. It stands as the first Ted Lindsay award he has won since he started playing as the center for the Toronto Maple Leaf. He recorded 60 regular-season goals and 46 assists for a total of 106 points during the 22′ season.
The Maple Leafs came in third overall in the league standings and second in their conference under Matthews’ leadership. He had a remarkable plus-minus stat of +40 as well.
The Ted Lindsay Award for 2019–20 goes to Leon Draisaitl. With 43 goals and 67 assists, the Edmonton Oilers’ center recorded 110 points overall for the season. The Edmonton Oilers placed fifth in the conference and 12th overall during the 2019-20 season. Nonetheless, the NHLPA chose him as the most outstanding player for that season based on his effort, contribution, and stats.
Facts About The Ted Lindsay Awards
Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about the Ted Lindsay Awards.
- The first player to win the Ted Lindsay Award is Phil Esposito during the 1971-72 NHL season
- It has been awarded a total of 52 times with the 2022-23 season being the 52nd time.
- Twenty players have won the award for being the most Valuable player of the NHL regular season by the NHLPA
- Alexander Ovechkin is the only player to be given both the Ted Lindsay Award and the Lester B. Pearson Award. He first earned the trophy twice when it was named the Lester B. Pearson and later won it after it was renamed the Ted Lindsay Award
- The NHL player with the most trophies as the Most Outstanding Player is Wayne Gretzky
- He is also the NHL player with the most consecutive wins (Four in a row)
- Only two goalies have won the Ted Lindsay Award in the NHL (Dominik Hasek and Carey Price)
- Dominik Hasek is the only goaltender to win the award twice
- The position with the most Ted Lindsay award is the Center
The Ted Lindsay is truly a unique trophy in the NHL as players who have played against one another have the opportunity to choose who they believe is truly the most outstanding of that season.
It is very prestigious and will continue to hold its relevance in years to come. Thanks for reading.