I don't want to push some items down on ITCS today because they are pretty important. I also tried to post this in response to http://jibblescribbits.blogspot.com/... but Google/Blogger is giving errors, or just hates me. In any case, this is my rant on the apparent death of the "Mark Messier Leadership Award presented by COLD-FX" (morphed from the initial award title of "The COLD-FX Mark Messier Leadership Award" which is even worse).
I agree with everything Mike Thompson said.
What it all comes down to is that the NHL has poor leadership. This is a ship that's a float at sea and has no direction.
Another example? The "Mark Messier Leadership Award presented by COLD-FX". In Bettman's infinite wisdom he takes the long standing (and great) tradition of hockey awards and bastardizes it with a sponser. What the fuck is COLD-FX and should we expect it to be around in another 100 years? The Norris Trophy presented by Kraft Foods is just plain WRONG. Furthermore, why Mark Messier? I will grant you that he's a Hall of Famer and a great NHL player. However, Gretzsky, Howe, Lemiuex and Orr don't have awards. Messier was the first in line? Really? The name of that award just sucks, I can't imagine walking through the Hall of Fame one day and seeing that abomination.
Next, this trophy was going to be presented on a monthly basis and then with a final winner at the end of the year like the other awards. What was the criteria for awarding this "leadership" trophy anyway? The best offensive player, best known player on a popular team or perhaps it was going to be something great, like an nuanced selection to prop up a great, unheralded leader on a club that might not get recognition otherwise? You know, like Chris Drury, Koivu etc... Perhaps the award would even be done by voting coaches, players or gms?
Nope, this award was chosen each month (and yearly) by the Holy Oracle of leadership quantification, Mark Messier himself. Ooookay, he's not in every dressing room and can't possibly see that many teams each month, how in the bloody hell is Messier going to do this? Well, his first award was given to Brenden Shannahan. WTF!? Shannahan may, in fact be a good enough leader but he just happened to have started the 06/07 season as one of the top scorers, but who also happened to be playing for Messier's beloved Rangers. That didn't so much bother me but the fact that they are both practically BEST FUCKING FRIENDS did bother me.
Later, Messier completely crapped the bed by naming Chris Chelios of all fricken people the award winner for the year. I can't express how insulting that is so I'll just reference a post that summarizes my feelings on it,
Now, the award doesn't seem to exist. Thank God. But that doesn't mean Bettman and Co. won't create another marketing nightmare from whole cloth. The leadership is horrid and that was just a minor example of the fiasco they are turning the league in to.