The NHL presented the first set of its annual awards Friday night, with all the pomp and pageantry of a Ron Popeil infomercial.
Broadcast on NHL Network and team websites, the hour long studio show with slapdash interviews and call-in spots replaced the Las Vegas spectacular that the league usually puts on. Make no mistake - the gaudy, uncomfortable Vegas show is usually terrible and watched mostly for the bloopers and squirming. But at least it's a show. Not three people sitting at a desk filling airtime.
Anyway, enough entertainment criticisms. On to the hockey criticisms.
SELKE TROPHY: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks. Yeah, Patrice Bergeron probably should have won it, but Toews is no slouch in the defense department. Islander in the Mix: Frans Nielsen finished 11th.
JACK ADAMS TROPHY: Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators. Sadly, Fake Paul MacLean didn't accept it on the real coach's behalf. But good on MacLean for making the Senators a tough out no matter how many of their players were hurt. Islander in the Mix: Jack Capuano came in 5th.
GENERAL MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Ray Shero, Pittsburgh Penguins. Guess acquiring those three old, slow-ass guys at the deadline really put the Penguins over the top. Islander in the Mix: Garth Snow finished 6th. WTF in the Mix: Scott Howson and Greg Sherman also received votes.
KING CLANCY TROPHY: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins. No Selke, but a worthwhile award for Bergeron. Seems like a good dude.
MASTERTON TROPHY: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild. Diagnosed with MS, and vows to keep playing. Best of luck to him.
MARK MESSIER LEADERSHIP AWARD PRESENTED BY MARK MESSIER ON BEHALF OF MARK MESSIER AND THE MARK MESSIER FOUNDATION FOR MARK MESSIER AWARENESS: Daniel "probably not" Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators.
LADY BYNG TROPHY: Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning. St. Louis takes home Lady Byng and Moulson finishing third for the second straight year. Tough to argue against St. Louis, who's as clean a player as there is but who never backs down. Still sucks for Moulson, though. Other Islanders in the Mix: Tavares came in 16th and Nielsen tied for 53rd with Jagr and Giroux.
And I don't care what anyone says: the Lady Byng is a cool award that people should be proud of. We spend every game all year long bitching about "this guy's dirty" or "that guy's a cheapshot artist." Why not recognize players who refuse to sink to that level? Plus, any trophy good enough for Bossy and Turgeon is good enough for me.
The rest of the awards, including the Hart, Norris and Vezina will be presented in the same horseshit way tomorrow night at 7 pm. Because it's late and I'm still at the office and I want to go home, I'll just quoth myself. The awards show ended with panel predictions for tomorrow night's trophies:
Barry Melrose picks John Tavares for Hart. Which means he has no chance in hell of winning.— Dan Saraceni (@cultureoflosing) June 14, 2013
(UPDATE: Edited to fix mistake in Byng graf)