By Allan Muir
The upside of abandoning the NHL’s flashy awards presentation in Las Vegas is obvious: no experiments in forced chemistry between C-list celebrities and hockey players; no disdainful hosting from Jay Mohr; and no more sequels to the wacky adventures of Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan.
Still, this year’s hastily planned alternative won’t exactly be remembered as a triumph of marketing genius, either.
The NHL dropped the first eight winners online and the buzz it generated nearly matched the excitement over the last Twisted Sister LP. It’s really too bad, since the league could have benefited from wider exposure afforded to these worthwhile honorees.
The most highly anticipated award of the night went to Jonathan Toews, who edged out Patrice Bergeron (again) in the tightly contested race for the Selke Trophy. You can read Sarah Kwak’s take on it here. In my book, Bergeron deserved a repeat win — he took home the hardware last season — based on his league-leading faceoff numbers and the fact that he was on the ice for just 13 even-strength goals-against all season. Toews is right there with him on nearly all counts, but I think the voters tossed him this bone after bailing on him in the MVP balloting.
And now, the rest of the winners: