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Avs family takes in a haul at the 2014 NHL Awards!

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The Avs have brought home three shiny NHL awards in a strong showing in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller

The 2014 NHL Awards Ceremony was full of random glitz, glamour, pizzazz, and other things that don't usually go hand in hand with hockey.  Despite looking like the latest MTV Music Awards, there were some really nice moments, and our boys won three of the four categories in which we were nominated.

Once you got past the show girls, fake Elvis, PK Subban's eye-scorching suit, the Jabberwockies dance team, Cuba Gooding Jr's attempts to be funny in the cockiest way imaginable, Phillip Phillips playing something in front of that fake volcano, Matisyahu, and the overall 2 hour commercial for Las Vegas (they may as well have had Freeman, Douglas, DeNiro, and Kline all hanging out in a booth in the background getting lap dances and bottle service), there were some nice moments.  My favorite was when Rich Peverly came out and talked about his rehab (which seems to be going well).  There was a moment with a 9 year old boy who had cancer, announcing Patrice Bergeron;  it was a little over done, but still a nice moment.  Some gal named Pia Toscano flounced across the stage (prompting 500,000 google image searches, possibly including mine).  There were celebrity announcers, including Micheal J Fox, Whoopi Goldberg, James Lipton, Susan Sarandon, and Colin Hanks.  All in all it was kinda fun, if not very hockey-ish.

Now, on to the awards!

Ryan O'Reilly won the Lady Byng award for most gentlemanly player; I was actually surprised at how strong his showing was.  He accrued 1181 voting points; Marty St. Louis was behind him with just 358.  Say what you will about our current situation with the guy, but that is an amazingly impressive feat.

Nathan MacKinnon similarly steamrolled into the Calder Trophy for best Rookie.  Both of the Tampa Bay boys had really good seasons, but Nate garnered 1347 votes, more than Palat and Johnson combined.  For a kid thats still only 18 (and will be until just about the time that training camp starts this fall), excuse me while I swoon.

Roy was easily #1 in voting in his category, too.  Winning the Jack Adams award for best coach, he had 399 votes, more than Babcock and Cooper combined.  His leadership brought the Avs from a bottom three showing to a top three showing in a single season, the first time that had happened since the league expanded in 1979.  Also, going 35-0-3 when leading after 2 periods was a pretty damn impressive feat.

The odd man out was Semyon Varlamov, but not by much.  Altho he didn't bring home the Vezina Trophy for best goaltender, he came within 13 votes of getting it.  There are 270 total votes for that position.  Thats 4% of the total voting count.  He was so very close; and while I never really expected him to take the award home over Tukka Rask, I would say that Varly was more important to our season that Rask was to Boston's.

Here are the other award winners:

  • Hart Trophy:  Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  • Ted Lindsay Award:  Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  • Norris Trophy:  Duncan Keith, Chicago
  • Selke Trophy:  Patrice Bergeron, Boston
  • General Manager of the Year:  Bob Murray, Anaheim
  • Masterton Trophy:  Dominic Moore, New York
  • Mark Messier Leadership Award:  Dustin Brown, Los Angeles
  • NHL Foundation Player Award:  Patrice Bergeron, Boston
  • King Clancy Trophy:  Andrew Ferrence, Edmonton (I didn't even know they were doing this award...?)
Really, watching this show, all I could think of was an epic quote from Zoolander:  "Concentrate, Derilict; Do not be distracted by the beautiful celebrities..."  Thats what a lot of it was.  Flashing lights and filler.  But it was still fun, and I am glad that I watched it.  The boys brought home the hardware, the future is bright, and I look forward to many years of Vegas awards ceremonies.  Maybe next time they can get a Rat Pack team instead of White Jumpsuit Elvis.