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Ottawa Senators Head Coach Paul MacLean was at the centre of a war of words with the playoff opponents, the Montreal Canadiens, after Game 1. (file photo) (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Ottawa Senators Head Coach Paul MacLean was at the centre of a war of words with the playoff opponents, the Montreal Canadiens, after Game 1. (file photo) (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Paul MacLean named NHL coach of the year Add to ...

Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews were the big winners in the first round of NHL awards announcements on Friday night.

MacLean won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year and Toews won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward.

“It’s a very proud day for myself and my family,” MacLean said. “We think it’s a great day for the Ottawa Senators.”

“It’s a special award to win,” Toews said.

MacLean came out on top over Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville after leading the Senators back into the postseason despite several key injuries.

“When it started, it was like, ‘who’s next?’” MacLean said of his team’s health woes. “So we were challenged early in the season to find ways to win. Our leadership group accepted that.”

Toews beat out two defensive stalwarts in Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron – who the Blackhawks are currently up against in the Stanley Cup finals – and Detroit Red Wings centre Pavel Datsyuk.

Other winners on the day included Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero, who was named the NHL’s general manager of the year, and Tampa Bay Lightning winger Marty St. Louis, who won the Lady Byng Trophy as the league’s most gentlemanly player.

Minnesota Wild netminder Josh Harding received the Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey after resuming his career after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Additionally, both Bergeron and Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg were honoured for their community service, with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and NHL Foundation Player Award, respectively.

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson also won the Messier Leadership Award.

With the lockout leading to the cancellation of the NHL’s annual awards showcase, the league opted to name the winners of these eight trophies on the NHL Network and NHL.com on Friday evening.

The final five trophy winners – including the Hart Trophy for league MVP and the top defenceman and goaltender awards – will be announced in the lead up to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final on Saturday in Chicago.

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