It’s the NHL Awards tonight. I confess to having never been a fan of this event. Even trying to watch it to see how bad it will be almost certainly leads to it being so cringeworthy bad that I shut it off.
The awards themselves aren’t any more exciting. I can’t say I’ve ever really cared about who was the slightly more valuable player, or which goaltender had a fraction of a percent better save percentage over their colleagues to make them the best.
I don’t think I’m alone on that, but I acknowledge some of you do care about the awards, and this night is for you.
I will also say that this year I am more intrigued than other years. The fact that the Humboldt Broncos will be featured heavily tonight is one of the few positive things the NHL has done and I applaud them for it. I am also very interested in seeing the ballot information from the Pro Hockey Writers Association being made public and the scrutiny that will ensue shortly after.
That said it’s a long night of players being overly careful to not show too much personality and no Leafs winning anything.
Anyway, here are our staff predictions for who is going to win what.
Sorry Anze, we don’t like your chances. I confess to selecting Hall over MacKinnon largely for the Edmonton fallout tomorrow morning. You can hook that right up to my veins.
|W.Karlsson||Wild Bill||Barkov||W. Karlsson||W Karlsson||W. Karlsson|
Mr. Fancey decided to go against the grain here, and I think he could end up being right since he’s smarter than the rest of us.
Ryan O’Reilly not getting selected by any of us could also be an oversight since predicting a Byng winner feels like an exercise in randomness.
A 50/50 split again, maybe the awards are interesting. Hellebucyk didn’t factor in at all, but I wonder if that’s because the Vegas playoff series is so fresh in our heads. That’s probably also why I didn’t select Rinne, who had a very good regular season.
Since this is based on on-ice performance and not what’s on their booklist, Barzal was an easy choice. I still you, Clayton Keller. You’re a good boy.
Adam was the only one to not give into the peer pressure of selecting Hedman. Since it’s the PHWA that decides the award we’re probably all wrong and it’s going to be Drew Doughty.
Can’t blame the PHWA on this one, since it’s player selected, and admittedly I will be wrong on this and the players will select McDavid as the most outstanding player, but like I said previously, I’m here for the Edmonton meltdowns.
Since Toews isn’t nominated the award seems like Bergeron’s to lose, but there was also a feeling that people will view Couturier as being due for a win. Personally I could also see Kopitar winning as a consolation vote from writers who didn’t put him high on their Hart ballot.
The Mark Messier Leadership Award Selected by Mark Messier and Presented by Mark Messier
Finally, an award that really matters.
To be fair, I think Wheeler should win, but I can’t help but think the NHL is looking to wrap a bow around the Vegas season while having this event in Vegas.
In reality this is probably going to be one of the feel good moments for Vegas instead and everyone else here seems to see it except for me. I think I’m blinded by the fact that I was really impressed with what Cassidy achieved this season.
GM of the Year
Somehow I care about this award even less than the Messier Award or the Byng. I guess having Dorion and Chiarelli as nominees last year can do that. Given the amount of naysaying following the expansion draft and the number of times everyone had to admit they were wrong about how the Golden Knights were built, the least we could do is give George McPhee this award, even though he made that Tatar trade.
It’s Only Fair We Now Ask How This Affects The Leafs
It doesn’t! Now that Auston Matthews has his Calder the Leafs are going to be done with the awards for a while. This is literally the only night of the year nothing will really affect the Leafs, but I look forward to somehow being proven wrong on this.