Lidstrom best defender at NHL Awards

June 22, 2011 - 8:28 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom won his seventh Norris Trophy at the NHL Awards on Wednesday, beating out Nashville's Shea Weber and Boston's Zdeno Chara as the league's best defenseman.

Lidstrom won the award for the first time since 2008, the last of his second three-peat. His win came at the start of a glammed-up show in Sin City, where the league honored its brightest stars from the 2010-11 season.

Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins picked up the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks ended Pavel Datsyuk's three-year run as Selke Trophy winner, honoring the best defensive forward.

Jeff Skinner, the 19-year-old sensation of the Carolina Hurricanes, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

Bylsma was recognized for the job he did in leading the Penguins to the playoffs, despite being without star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for much of the season.

Mike Gillis was chosen as general manager of the year after the Canucks finished with the NHL's best regular-season record for the first time and fell one win short of their first Stanley Cup championship.

Vancouver's Daniel Sedin is attempting to follow twin brother and teammate Henrik as NHL MVP. If so, the back-to-back league scoring champions would be the first set of brothers to win the Hart Trophy in consecutive years.

Before the show, hundreds of fans lined up inside and outside the Palms Casino Resort to catch glimpses of their favorite hockey players walking the red carpet.

"You're a riot," movie director Kevin Smith told "How I Met Your Mother" actress and Vancouver-native Cobie Smulders before they gave Lidstrom his award, poking fun at the Canadian city's reaction to the Canucks' Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup finals.

Comedian Jay Mohr also poked fun at the city, calling the riots the "elephant in the room" at the start of the show.

"What an un-Canadian way to behave," Mohr said.

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Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia.