I recorded the NHL Awards Show last night so that I could fast forward through the slow parts. (Insert obvious joke here). How would you have liked to have paid $100 plus a seat to sit through that sleepfest? And where did they come up with that crowd? I mean, they even had quiet, polite applause for Gary Bettman. Was it just me, or were some of the presentations pretty weak? I never thought that there would be a time when I would miss Ron MacClean, but I actually missed Ron MacClean.
There were no surprises, the favorites won the awards they were supposed to. But there was some true emotion involved from some of the recipients. I enjoyed a few moments which I will list as highlights below:
- When accepting the Vezina, Tim Thomas mentioned that at times he was more worried about getting his name on a roster than getting his name on a trophy.
- Norris winner Zdeno Chara said that he had been cut from many teams as a youngster. He advised kids in similar situations not to give up. Hard work and determination will take you far.
Alex Ovechkin joked that Evgeni Malkin spoke better English than Pavel Datsyuk. (The Red Wing was not amused, perhaps he did not understand?)
Here were the major award winners, and who I think should have won. (My Bizarro World awards)-
Lady Byng- Pavel Datsyuk
In my world of the opposite being correct, I would select Sean Avery. The dude is the exact opposite of a gentleman but certainly deserves some kind of award.
The Norris- Zdeno Chara
Last year I picked Niclas Wallin, (as the Canes opposite of Nick Lidstrom). This year my selection is Josef Melichar. Jim Rutherford did not look like his typical genius self when he signed this disappointment to a million dollar contract last offseason.
Vezina - Tim Thomas
My choice is Rick DiPietro, who had a record of 1-3, GAA of 3.52, and SV% of .892. He appeared in five games the entire season. I bet the Islanders are happy they signed him up to that lifetime contract.
The Hart - Alex Ovechkin
Most valuable player in the league? I will vote for Alex Radulov, who had a legally binding contract to play for Nashville, but signed another contract to play in the KHL. There's a real stand up guy. And honorable mention goes to Matt Murley who did a similar thing.
Jack Adams - Claude Julien
On a semi-serious note, what about Paul Maurice? In a truly bizarre move, Jim Rutherford brought back the coach after the fanbase nearly ran him out of town on a rail a few years back. Remember the "Mo must go!" signs? No one could figure out the reason why the Canes GM brought him back and for at least a month the poor guy was booed heartily every time his name was announced before games. On top of that, his possible successor, a Carolina legend, was standing right next to him on the bench. Not that there was any pressure on Mo to win or anything.
On a not so serious note, you have to give the award to Melrose.
The Calder - Steve Mason
My pick- Seen Stamkos? Not during the first part of the year you didn't.
The Selke - Pavel Datsyuk
Sorry, I have to go with Rod Brind'Amour and his -30 for much of the year. (He finished with the season with a -23 and had another -5 in the playoffs) Believe it or not according to James Mirtle, Brind'Amour actually received some legitimate votes for the award. Either some writers are totally out of it or they have even more of a warped sense of humor than I do.
The Masterton - Steve Sullivan
I give this award every year to Marian Gaborik, until he proves me wrong. This guy allows a groin injury to sideline him all season.
The Lester Pearson - Alex Ovechkin
Players voted for the league's most valuable player and I can't over-rule that vote, but I can insert the player who was voted by his peers as the biggest complainer. Sidney Crosby.