The Avalanche beat the Lightning 2-1 to win the Stanley Cup on Sunday night, and their return to glory never would’ve happened if not for one man.
That same incomparable player who is now the official winner of the 2022 Conn Smythe Award (given annually to the NHL postseason MVP)
Makar becomes just the third defenseman in NHL history to win the Norris and the Conn Smythe in one season after the Bruins’ Bobby Orr (1970, 1972) and the Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom (2002) previously managed the rare feat.
Makar’s 29 points are the fourth-highest ever by any NHL defenseman in postseason history.
Makar is the youngest defenseman to win the Conn Smythe in over five decades, with Orr first winning it at age 22 during the 1970 Stanley Cup Final.
Makar winning this year’s Conn Smythe should be no surprise to anyone who’s paid attention to Colorado’s exploits all year long.
He was their catalyst when the Avalanche finished first in the Central Division and the Western Conference during the regular season.
He was not only their premier shutdown man playing almost half of every game but their primary offensive initiator for a team that loves to get out and skate in transition.
When it came time for the Avalanche to make some memories in the postseason, it was business as usual for Makar — who continued his excellence seamlessly.
The young defenseman got his first Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe this year. Given how his magnificent career has started, they almost certainly won’t be the last.