Awards I'd like to see

We're all familiar with the NHL's end-of-the-season awards. The top rookie wins the Calder. The league's most valuable player wins the Hart. And the players who shows the most perseverance and sportsmanship is awarded the Masterton.

But in my little speck of dust within the hockey universe, there are skills and attributes of the game that are worthy of honoring. That's why I submit, for your consideration, the following suggestions, culled from a once-voluminous list, for the awards I'd like to see:

The Billy Hajt Award: Given to the league's top defensive defenseman, who block shots, plays the body without drawing a penalty and always covers for his more offensive-minded partner on defense.

The Mike Sillinger Award: Given to the center/forward with the best faceoff percentage, with additional weighting based on such critical situations as shorthanded and defensive zone draws.

The Andre "Moose" Dupont Award: If the league is going to award a player for gentlemanly conduct (whatever the hell that is), why not honor the player who puts the fear of God into others with a simple sneer, a pointing of a finger and a gag-inducing facewash?

The Wayne Gretzky Award: Given to the player who revolutionizes the game, in a positive or entertaining way, through the season. For example, how many players have added a leg kick to their breakaway routines once Washington's Alexander Ovechkin started doing it?

The Mr. Hockey Award: In honoring Gordie Howe and his contributions to the game, this would be given to the league's top power forward, with minimum standards for goals (25), assists (40), penalty minutes (100, with at least 30 from elbowing) and fighting majors (five). A letter-perfect autograph is worth bonus points, too.

Finally, to discourage the ever-increasing amount of diving in the league, how about The NHEllie Award: Given to the player who draws the most unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for taking dives. Granted, the winner would get a trophy, handed out at a mandatory player-appearance event, so his peers will know exactly what he is.

Until next June in Toronto, when we'll see whether the NHL has adopted any of my wisdom, I welcome your comments.



Post a Comment

<< Home