Well, boys and girls, thus starts a busy week in the world of hockey. Tonight, the National Hockey League Award Ceremony broadcasts out to the world from the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. Showtime is at 7pm Eastern; everyone attending will have plenty of time to make it to the tables afterward, hopefully liberally libated.
Four members of the Avalanche have been nominated for awards today. Patrick Roy is up for the Jack Adams for Coach of the Year against Mike Babcock from Detroit (Boooo!) and Jon Cooper from the Tampa Bay Lightning. While I think that all three coaches have done very well with their respective squads, Roy stands out for creating the biggest turn around, taking a team that was in the draft lottery and turning it into a playoff team. Patrick has a pretty darn good chance at this one.
Next up, Nathan MacKinnon has been nominated for the Calder Memorial trophy, honoring the best rookie in the league. He's facing off against a pair of rookies from the Tampa Bay Lightning: Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. While I can appreciate the talent that Tampa Bay has, and the good play it's gotten from their rookies, this one is a lock for MacKinnon.
Semyon Varlamov is up for the Vezina Trophy; I'm not sure his stellar season was quite good enough to overcome either Tukka Rask from The Bruins or Ben Bishop from Tampa Bay. I'm not really going to be holding my breath to see him walking up to the stage, even tho I'm sending him all of my positive waves.
And, finally, Ryan O'Reilly is up for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, facing off against Patrick Marleau from the San Jose Sharks and Martin St. Louis of the Lightning and New York Rangers. This one is a little harder to get a grip on. As much as I love Radar, and his outstanding year, I'm not sure he'll be able to really take either of those guys. 2 penalty minutes all year? Maybe he has a decent chance over all. I can't wait to see the count on this one.
There are 8 other awards going out, too. Lets take a look at who's up for each of those:
|Award||Candidate 1||Candidate 2||Candidate 3|
|Hart Trophy||Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh||Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim||Claude Giroux, Philadelphia|
|Norris Trophy||Zdeno Chara, Boston||Duncan Keith, Chicago||Shea Webber, Nashville|
|Masterson Trophy||Jaromir Jagr, New Jersey||Manny Malhotra, Carolina||Dominic Moore, New York|
|Selke Trophy||Patrice Bergeron, Boston||Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles||Jonathan Toews, Chicago|
|Ted Lindsay Award||Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh||Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim||Claude Giroux, Philadelphia|
|Messier Leadership Award||Dustin Brown, Los Angeles||Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim||Jonathan Toews, Chicago|
|NHL Foundation Player Award||Brent Burns, San Jose||Patrice Bergeron, Boston||Duncan Keith, Chicago|
|NHL Manager of the Year||Marc Bergevin, Montreal||Dean Lombardi, Los Angeles||Bob Murray, Anaheim|
For those of you who (like me) have trouble remembering which award is which, they are: Hart for league's most valuable player. Norris for league's best defenseman. Masterson for the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Selke for the league's best defensive forward. Lindsay Award to the NHL's most outstanding player. Messier Leadership to...um, good leadership. NHL Foundation Award to the player using his core values to impact the community. And the NHL Manager of the year goes to the top GM.
So, Avs Nation, who do you think will go home with what? (We're talking awards here, people). Let the speculation commence!