As you may have noticed, it’s award season. Arguably one of the stupidest things the NHL does, but at least they’ve done away with the award show (hopefully permanently.) The highlight of the season is less about who wins the awards, and more about who throws the biggest meltdown over the dumbest bullshit. It seemed like the early front runners for the award hilarity was the flood of writers outraged that Oskar Lindblom won the Masterton for returning from cancer over Patrick Marleau’s playing a really long time, but the new clubhouse leader is Damien Cox’s Lady Byng meltdown:
Still, despite Matthews already having the Rocket Richard I decided the Leafs needed a more awards, and because this is the participant ribbon generation, we’ve made sure that everyone gets an award.
I decided to have a traditional hockey season ending banquet. I rented a private room at the local Shakey’s Pizza and brought a ton of Rock’em Sock’em and Wrestlemania VHS tapes to watch, but sadly none of the Leafs showed up. (Damn you COVID!) So instead I will announce the winners of the awards here instead.
Here we go…

The Storm Trooper Marksmanship Award goes to…

Despite heavy competition from pretty much anyone attempting a point shot on the powerplay, the winner of this award is @Ilya Mikheyev. No one was as committed to ensuring the safety of goaltenders by making sure the puck wasn’t anywhere near the net.
Past winners for this award include Cody Ceci and Dion Phaneuf.

The highly competitive #1 Dad mug goes to…

@Jason Spezza. While there wasn’t a shortage of father figures over the course of the season, most of them turned exclusively into weekend Dads come playoff time, and Spezza was the only committed to doing some 24/7 Dadding in the playoffs.
Past Daddies include Patrick Marleau and Matt Martin.

The world’s okayist Dad mug goes to…

@Joe Thornton. It’s not his fault that expectations were raised for him by starting the year on the top line, or that he was overused on the powerplay, but unfortunately when he gave us hope of settling into a physical fourth line presence leading into the playoffs, that was replaced with a no show situation in the final games against the Habs. In the end he was looking more like World’s Greatest Grandpa. At least he gave us a bare assed appearance in the Patrick Marleau tribute video.

Moving on from Dads to kids, the Kid Glove Award goes too…

@Mitch Marner. With an $11M/yr contract, there was still no shortage of teammates, coaches, managers, and others lining up to rush to the defense of Mitch Marner after his playoff no show. The organization has established that criticism of Mitch will not be tolerated. So congratulations, Mitch. According to everyone you talk to you, you’re doing just great. Don’t change a thing.

The Trilby Award for the nicest guy goes to…

@Jack Campbell. Jack Campbell is such a nice guy that I feel bad for making a fedora joke about him being a “nice guy”. Still, he’ll probably shoot me an email later and tell me it’s okay and then try to share the award as a tie with everyone he’s ever met. Then he’ll bake some fresh banana bread for all his teammates.

The Season Is Over but Now The Instagram Season Begins Award goes to…

@Travis Dermott. With all due respect to William Nylander, who might have been robbed of this award, we needed to find something to give to Travis Dermott, and this is it. Past winners include Kasperi Kapanen.

The Frasier Award for the player who should spend the summer house hunting in Seattle goes to…

WOW! This one was competitive and while there were a number of players in the running, it appears the winner is Alex Kerfoot. We will mail your tossed salad and scrambled eggs to the Space Needle.

The He’s Like the Wind Patrick Swayze Memorial Trophy goes to…

While there was heavy competition from Riley Nash, David Rittich, and Ben Hutton, the unquestionable winner of this award is @Nick Foligno. He was but a brief blip on the Leafs this season, and yet somehow cost Toronto a 1st round pick. In fact between the players listed the Leafs gave up four draft picks. So maybe they were also like the wind.

In honour of our departing Dane…

The Step on LEGO Award goes to @Frederik Andersen. As much as he provided us with many solid years of service during his time as a Leaf, this season every single Andersen start was akin to stepping on LEGO bricks.

The Rare Free Agent Signing that Everyone Seems to Love Award goes to…

T.J. Brodie. I don’t think anyone has said any bad about Brodie, his play, or his contract during his time as a Leaf so far. You’d have to be the biggest weirdo out there to have a problem with Brodie, but now that I’ve said this, I fully expect the angry person is in question to show themselves.

The Award for the Leaf most likely to be really into Street Magic goes to…

@Justin Holl. 
Look at him. There’s no way that this guy isn’t in Vegas right now checking out a Criss Angel show. I don’t know what any of this has to do with hockey or being a Leaf, but it remains really important to me that everyone knows that I think Justin Holl looks like a street magic aficionado.

The Zeus’ Beard Award goes to…

Wait, didn’t Thornton already win an award? That’s right folks. The award goes to @Jake Muzzin, who not only has an outstanding beard, but also had to trim it to fit inside his fishbowl helmet for a portion of the season. That’s the kind of beard commitment it takes to win this award, though all the respect in the world for Thornton’s Father Time look.

The Outstanding Achievement in Overcoming being Albertan Award goes to…

@WILLIAM NYLANDER!!! Congratulations to Alberta’s finest. You make us proud everyday. We will mail you a beer promotion straw cowboy hat and a set of Truck Nutz to honour your heritage.
We’re really getting into the home stretch now. Thank you to everyone who has made it this far and not immediately jumped to the comment section to call me an unfunny asshole.

Of course there could only be one possible winner of the We Do Need You Award

Congratulations to @John Tavares. While the Leafs very much should have been able to beat the Montreal Canadiens in his absence, the Jets and Golden Knights are making a strong case that the Leafs could have used their talented 1B center as a means of getting through Game Seven and taking the Leafs into the promise land of a second round.
Additionally with getting pasted 8-0, the Islanders could probably use Tavares too.

The way to stick your neck award goes to @Pierre Engvall

Because he has a long neck.

Trade Bait of the Year Award

With all due respect to Mitch Marner, who we will probably talk about trading more than anyone else, the practical choice for winning this award is @Morgan Rielly. Heading into a contract year, and with no shortage of recent failed attempts at own rentals for players in their contract year, we are pretty committed to seeing Morgan in a new local. It’s nothing personal, just a desire to not see you walk for nothing. Of course he could sign a team friendly contract extension and in that case will gladly pick a new winner.

The Timbuk3 Award goes to…

It goes without saying that anyone under 40 is probably not going to get this reference, including the winner, so here you go…
Is that better? Anyways, it should be clear that winner is @Rasmus Sandin, who has the unfortunate task of being the long term saviour of the Leafs blueline.

Bell and Rogers present the Please Take A Hometown Discount Award

Can you imagine that we’re in a situation where we’re asking @Zach Hyman to keep two of the largest communications monopolies in Canada some money? I get that it’s about working within the confines of a salary cap and helping the Leafs finally win a cup, but it seems pretty ridiculous to not take Bell and Rogers to the cleaners any chance you get. Anyways, hopefully Zach Hyman has a soft spot for media companies or a grudge against Telus and he’s feeling like sticking it to them by signing a discount deal with the Leafs.

The Big and Local Trophy

The Leafs have had an increasing number of GTA and Southern Ontario players come home to play or stick out their careers with the Leafs hoping to win here so this is becoming an increasingly competitive award. That said, @Wayne Simmonds signing with the Leafs was the local boy that generated the most excitement and while his future with the team might be up in the air, it was a genuine thrill to watch him play in Toronto and add some toughness to the bottom part of the lineup. If Wayne knocks a bit more of his price, and is more committed to a fourth line role than a third next season, I’d hope to see him back in a Leafs uniform.

The Lord Byng Award

This one required a bit of research, but according the Governor General website, Lord Byng showed up for every Ottawa Senators game. You know who else shows up for every game with the Senators? That’s right, Frank Stallone @Auston Matthews. Congratulations on winning a Byng award.

The Found Wallet Award goes to…

Alex Galchenyuk!!! For the low, low price of Egor Korshkov, and David Warofsky, the Leafs found what could be a fun reclamation project for next season, assuming Galchenyuk wants to continue what he’s started in Toronto. He had the very unfortunate blind pass to his former team to kick start their comeback in the series, but hopefully he’s as spiteful as I, and wants to spend the rest of his time in the league getting even on the Habs.
We’re finally at the end, and that brings us to…

The Whitest Sneaker Award goes to…
@Zach Bogosian. Congratulations, Zach! And congratulations to everyone else too because this post is finally over and we can get the hell out of here.