05/10/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/10/2021 09:49
Adam Fox named Team MVP;
Ryan Lindgren selected as recipient of Players' Player Award;
Brendan Smith named winner of John Halligan Good Guy Award
NEW YORK, May 10, 2021 - The New York Rangers announced their team award winners for the 2020-21 season today. Adam Fox was named the Rangers' Most Valuable Player, Ryan Lindgren was named the recipient of the Players' Player Award, and Brendan Smith was named the winner of the John Halligan Good Guy Award.
The Most Valuable Player Award was voted on by members of the New York Rangers media and has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1941-42 season. Fox has won the award for the first time in his career. He is the first Ranger who has won the award in one of his first two seasons in the NHL since Henrik Lundqvist in 2006-07, and the first Rangers skater who has done so since Brian Leetch in 1988-89. Fox, who also won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in 2020-21, became the seventh Ranger to be named the Team's MVP (as chosen by the media) and to receive the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award (as chosen by the fans) since 1987-88, which was the first year the Steven McDonald Extra Award was presented. He joins Adam Graves (1992-93 and 1993-94), Mark Messier (1994-95 and 1995-96), Leetch (1996-97), Wayne Gretzky (1997-98), Lundqvist (2017-18), and Mika Zibanejad (2018-19) as the only players to win both awards in the same season.
Fox skated in 55 games with the Rangers this season, registering five goals and 42 assists for 47 points, along with a plus-19 rating and 14 penalty minutes. Fox currently leads NHL defensemen in assists and points in 2020-21. He led the Rangers in numerous categories this season, including assists, average ice time (24:42), and blocked shots (102). Fox became the fourth defenseman in franchise history to average at least 0.75 assists per game in a season (min. 10 games played), joining Brian Leetch (four times), Brad Park, and Sergei Zubov, and he became the first Rangers defenseman to do so since Leetch in 1995-96. Fox also became the eighth defenseman in franchise history to average at least 0.85 points per game in a season (min. 10 games played), joining Leetch (nine times), Park (four times), Ron Greschner (four times), Zubov (twice), Reijo Ruotsalainen (twice), James Patrick (twice), and Barry Beck, and he became the first Rangers defenseman to do so since Leetch in 2000-01.
Fox posted a career-high 12-game point streak from Mar. 17 vs. Philadelphia to Apr. 8 vs. Pittsburgh, and the point streak was tied for the fifth-longest by a defenseman in franchise history. He also tied the Rangers' single-game franchise record for assists, as well as single-game franchise records for assists and points by a defenseman, when he tallied five assists and five points on Mar. 25 at Philadelphia. His 42 assists and 47 points this season were each the most by a Rangers defenseman at 23 years old or younger since Sergei Zubov in 1993-94. Artemi Panarin received the second-most votes for the award this season.
The Players' Player Award has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1958-59 season and recognizes the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, 'best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.' Lindgren has won the award for the first time in his career. He is the fourth different defenseman who has the award over the last 30 seasons (since 1990-91), joining Brian Leetch (four consecutive seasons from 2000-01 - 2003-04), Jason Strudwick (2007-08 - co-winner with Colton Orr), and Ryan McDonagh (2013-14).
Lindgren skated in 51 games with the Rangers this season, registering one goal and 15 assists for 16 points, along with a plus-20 rating and 35 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2020-21, including assists, points, plus/minus rating, and hits (98), and he led the team in plus/minus rating this season. Lindgren was one of only three Rangers who recorded 90 or more hits and 50 or more blocked shots this season. At the time he suffered an upper-body injury on Apr. 29, he was one of only four Rangers (and the only defenseman) who played in each of the team's first 51 games of the 2020-21 season. Lindgren ranked second on the Rangers in average shorthanded ice time this season (2:30), and he ranks fifth in the NHL (min. 115:00 of shorthanded ice time) in power play goals against per 60 minutes of shorthanded ice time in 2020-21 (4.22). He was not on the ice for a power play goal against in 20 consecutive games from Jan. 24 at Pittsburgh to Mar. 9 at Pittsburgh (51:30 of shorthanded ice time over the span).
The John Halligan Good Guy Award recognizes a player for their cooperation with the media throughout the season. The award has been presented annually since the 1974-75 season and was renamed in 2009-10 to honor the team's late public relations director. The award recipient is chosen by members of the media who cover the Rangers throughout the season.
Smith skated in 48 games with the Rangers this season, registering five goals and five assists for 10 points, along with a plus-three rating and 73 penalty minutes. He established a career-high in penalties drawn (25) and tied his career-high in goals this season, and he leads NHL defensemen in penalties drawn in 2020-21. The Rangers posted a 25-19-4 record in the 48 games which Smith played this season.
Ryan Strome also received votes from media members for the John Halligan Good Guy Award this season. Mika Zibanejad (2018-19) and Chris Kreider (2019-20) are current Rangers who previously received the award.