After a stunning 153-point regular season, it was only right that Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid put his name into the history books on Monday night at the NHL awards ceremony in Nashville.
McDavid won the Hart Trophy to become the ninth three-time MVP in NHL history. He also took home the award in 2017 and 2021. Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak and Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk were the other finalists for this year's honor.
"Thank you to the Oilers organization," McDavid said. "You guys make it so fun to come to the rink and we've created such a great culture there in Edmonton. ... To my teammates, my second family, I truly would not be standing up here if it wasn't for each and every single one of you guys.
"You guys mean the world to me, and I can't wait to get back to work with you guys in September. We have unfinished business."
That wasn't the only hardware McDavid took home on Monday, as he also secured the Ted Lindsay Award for the NHL's Most Outstanding Player. McDavid is now a four-time winner, with each of those victories coming over the last seven years. Only Wayne Gretzky, a five-time winner of the honor formerly known as the Lester B. Pearson Award, has captured the trophy more than McDavid.
"I want to say thank you to the players around the league. This award is obviously voted on by you guys," McDavid said. "Been up here a few times to accept this, and I'm so honored. I really feel like this is the most prestigious award we give out here."
McDavid, 26, had 64 goals and 89 assists in 82 regular-season games. He also posted 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) during Edmonton's playoff run, which ended when the Oilers lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, in the second round.
Vegas defeated the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final, putting an end to what was an incredible postseason showing by Florida. The Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed, the Panthers rode the momentum of a first-round defeat of the league-best Bruins all the way to the last series of the season.
Although Boston flopped after posting 65 wins and 135 points -- both NHL records -- during the regular season, the 2022-23 campaign wasn't a total loss for the Bruins. Linus Ullmark won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender, Jim Montgomery earned the Jack Adams Award as the best coach and forward Patrice Bergeron picked up the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward.
Ullmark, 29, beat out the New York Islanders' Ilya Sorokin and the Winnipeg Jets' Connor Hellebuyck to win the award after going 40-6-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage in 49 games (48 starts).
Montgomery, 53, was in his first season with Boston. He was an assistant with the St. Louis Blues from 2020-22 after getting fired during his second season as head coach of the Dallas Stars (2019-20).
In 195 career regular-season games, Montgomery has led his teams to a 125-55-15 record. He has also coached 20 postseason games, winning half of them.
"I view this award as a team award. It's a reflection of the great Boston Bruins organization," Montgomery said. "The historical season that we had doesn't happen by chance. There's a commitment daily to the culture."
In 78 games, the 37-year-old Bergeron finished with 27 goals and 31 assists en route to his sixth Selke Trophy. He has completed 19 NHL seasons, spending all of them with the Bruins.
The city of Boston also had another reason to celebrate as Seattle Kraken forward Matty Beniers, who grew up about 30 minutes south in nearby Hingham, Mass., captured the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the rookie of the year.
Beniers, 20, went for 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) in 80 games to help Seattle clinch its first playoff berth in the franchise's second year.
"The boys, my teammates, I love you guys. You guys were so great, you taught me so much this year," Beniers said. "Seattle, you guys were great all year and you guys made playing at Climate Pledge Arena so fun."
The San Jose Sharks' Erik Karlsson won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the top defenseman after tallying 101 points (25 goals, 76 assists) in 82 games. He became the first NHL defenseman to reach the 100-point plateau since Brian Leetch accomplished the feat in 1991-92.
Other winners included Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar (Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct), Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund (King Clancy Trophy for humanitarian work), Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey) and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award).
--Field Level Media