Canes Country Members' Choice Awards: The Calder

The Calder Trophy on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame via upload.wikimedia.org

While the Carolina Hurricanes 2009-10 NHL season fell short of the expectations we brought to the table back in October, that doesn’t mean there weren’t many bright spots for the players and fans this season. Canes Country thought we’d look back at some individuals whose performances were exemplary, and whose efforts and skill inspired us to keep watching. Using the traditional team and annual NHL Awards as a guide, Cory, Bob and I have each nominated a player from the Carolina roster for nine of these awards. Over the next week, we will ask you, our insightful readers, to vote for and tell us why you think one Hurricane player deserves our recognition for a job well done

The Calder Trophy

What is it? 

The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season. In layman's terms, "Rookie of the Year".

Who received the Calder over the last 3 years?

2009: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets

2008: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

2007: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

After the jump Bob, Cory and Hockeymom each make their nominations and tell why. 

And the nominees are:


Bob nominates: Brett Carson.

Brett Carson had a spectacular year, but in unspectacular fashion.  Does that make any sense?  Well, check out his numbers, which are considerably better than vets Aaron Ward and Niclas Wallin when they were in Raleigh.   Then, take into consideration that Carson is a rookie. 


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Brett Carson 54 2 10 12 5 12 0 0 0 0 42 4.8


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Aaron Ward 60 1 10 11 -17 54
0 0 0 0 41 2.4


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Niclas Wallin 47 0 5 5 -5 26 0 0 0 0 72 0.0



Each of the skaters averaged about 17 minutes of TOI per game.  While Ward and Wallin skated against tougher competition, Carson is the prototype shut down "D" and performed as well as you can ask a rookie to play in the third pairing on defense.  He did not seem to make many glaring mistakes in his own end and was physical when he needed to be. 

Usually, when you don't notice a defenseman, that means he is doing his job.  Brett Carson did his job this past season.

Cory Lavalette nominates: Bryan Rodney

We've been trying to pick different players for each of the awards, and while I've nominated Bryan Rodney, there's no way, in good conscience, I could pick him over Carson or Boychuk. Still, here's what Rodney's done.


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Bryan Rodney 22 1 10 11 -4 8 0 0 0 0 24 4.2



Hockeymomof2 nominates: Zach Boychuk


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2009 - Zach Boychuk 31 3 6 9 1 2 0 0 0 0 37 8.1


With 31 games this year, twenty-year-old Zach Boychuk stayed long enough this last call up that we got to know him. And watching him out there on the big stage, we never doubted his desire to make an impression. His reputation in Juniors as a phenomenal scoring sniper hasn’t yet translated to the NHL stage. (If you haven't seen his bio and stats, click on this link. He was the 8th ranked prospect in 2008.) Still, we can see determination, hustle, and his love of the game in every shift. I'll be watching his production in Albany's playoffs (starting tonight) to see how his newly acquired knowledge and improved strength and skills work against opponents who aren’t quite so big and fast and wily. We might reasonably project that this summer will be the same magic season of growth for Boychuk as it was for this former Albany roommate Brandon Sutter in 2009.

More than anything, I’m nominating Boychuk for the Canes Country Calder for his self-deprecating confidence (I don’t think that’s an oxymoron?) exemplified so well by that delightful moment during the first intermission at Pittsburgh in March. You remember: when he interrupted Tripp Tracy, to correct Tripp’s errantly stating Boychuk was selected fifteenth overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, "Fourteenth"…….Tripp continues: "yada yada"…more forcefully, still polite and with an earnest grin: "I was picked fourteenth". Of course, he was right.

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