The NHL Awards are tonight and based on previous years results they will most likely get things wrong AGAIN!. Here are my alternative picks to those honors and showing you my selections for the individual and team performance Awards this year. I also took into consideration the entire hockey season from October until June.
Most Valuable Rookie: Adam Henrique of the New Jersey Devils.Of all the rookies worth mentioning this year, Henrique took the Devils through the Stanley Cup playoffs to the eventual Eastern Conference represenatives in the final.
Most Valuable Player: Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins
He came through clutch during the season and provided his big shoulders to cary his high profile team through the season.
Most Valuable Coach: Ken Hitchcock. of the St. Louis Blues.
Was there any doubt that Ken was the best coach to turn a Blues team from potentially being a disasterous season to top of the Western Conference in less than a year.
Most Valuable Defenseman: Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators
For the second year in a row, he wins an award not only for being talked about as the next premier blueliner, but for standing out on a Predators team that is on the brink of becoming a premier western conference franchise.
Most Valuable Goalie: Johnathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings
He did his best to maintain a playoff pace for the Kings who seemed to cool off at the end of the regular season, to once again regain en fuego momentum and win the Stanley Cup.
Most Valuable NHL Slovak player: Marian Gaborik of the New York Rangers
Just edging out Hossa for this recognition, Gaborik got his Rangers team farther in the playoffs and played in all 82 games.
Most Valuable Teammate Tandem: Jeff Carter and Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings
Originally separated at the begining of the season, they both got to re-unite in the city of Angels and stick it to the Flyers who traded them in the previous off-season by winning the Stanley Cup.
Comeback Player of the Year: Matt Cooke
Ostrasized and made to be the poster boy for all things wrong with agressive hockey play, Matt turned things around and did his best to stay out of the penalty box and redeem his villain reputation.
Most Valuable General Manager: David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers
With a smart gutsy move to bring Radulov over from the KHL to fufill the player's obligation and making a few more shrewd moves at the deadline makes Poile a smart guy.
Tallon took his magic from Chicago to Florida who made the playoffs in his second year at the helm. He acquired many new players to rebuild the deflated franchise.
Most Valuable Ice Girls: Nashville Predators Ice Girls
All I needed to do was view this picture and declare them the winners.
Most Valuable Fanbase: Pittsburgh Penguins franshise.
Even though I'm biased here counting myself in the category, I've been so impressed by how much the Penguins fans voracious support of the team has gotten over the last few years. They've gotten two former NHL players to admit the strength and influence online.
Can-Am Award presented in recognition to bloggers or fans who have contributed positively to Canadian and American fan relations: (watch for youtube video posted later today)