NHL News: Award Winners, and Winter Classic Double-Dip?
Some NHL News this morning for you. First, in case you didn't hear the results, the 2009 NHL Awards were given out last night, congratulations to all the winners: (from Slapshot at NYTimes.com)
Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player) - Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Pearson Award (Most Outstanding Player; selected by the players) - Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman) - Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy (Top Goaltender) - Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
Calder Trophy (Top Rookie) - Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Selke Trophy (Top Defensive Forward) - Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Lady Byng Trophy (Most Gentlemanly Player) - Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year) - Claude Julien, Boston Bruins
Masterton Trophy (Dedication and Perseverance) - Steve Sullivan, Nashville Predators
Clancy Trophy (Humanitarian Contributions) - Ethan Moreau, Edmonton Oilers
Lifetime Achievement Award - Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy (Leading Scorer) - Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Rocket Richard Trophy (Most Goals) - Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Jennings Trophy (Fewest Goals Allowed) - Tim Thomas, Manny Fernandez, Boston Bruins
N.H.L. Foundation Award (Charitable Contributions) - Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
NHL Fan Fav Award - Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Mark Messier Award (Leadership) - Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
In other news, apparently the NHL is looking to further cash in on the success of the "Winter Classic" games, and may be planning a doubleheader for New Years Day, 2010. According to reports, the Calgary Flames will host one of the five other teams from Canada at Calgary's McMahon Stadium, site of the 1988 Winter Olympic ceremonies. The first game of the doubleheader will reportedly be at Fenway Park in Boston, with the Bruins hosting the Washington Capitals, although that has not yet been confirmed by the league.
I think for all its faults, the NHL is getting this one right. The outdoor games are fantastic, the players all say they love playing them, and the fans certainly aren't staying away due to the cold weather.
One thing I would change about the Winter Classic: one game is great, two games is even better. But if the league is going to play two games, I think one of the games every year should be an Original Six game. It would give the league a great opportunity to explore the history of the NHL.
That being said, Canadiens at Rangers for the 2011 game at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field is my pick. Honestly I would rather see the game played at the new Giants Stadium, but we all know the Giants will be using it in January for years to come.