Officially Unofficial Hockey Awards
1) Most Outstanding Player- Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks.
If Sidney Crosby had played all season, this is a runaway. Toews was left off the Hart finalists, but he is my MVP after putting up 48 points and a +28 rating, all while captaining the leagues #1 team which lost only 7 games in regulation time this season.
Runners up- Sidney Crosby, John Tavares
2) Best Goalie- Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets.
Bobrovsky was written off by the Philadelphia Flyers last season. This season all he did was put up 21 wins, a 2.00 GAA and a .932 Save Percentage to put a team which most predicted to finish last, one point shy of the playoffs.
Runners up- Henrik Lundqvist, Craig Anderson
3) Comeback Player of the Year- Wade Redden, St.Louis/Boston.
Banished to the minors in 2010 as a victim of the old CBA and Salary Cap, Redden returned this year after the new agreement allowed him to be bought out. He signed with the Blues and was then traded at the deadline to the Bruins. Though his passion for the game may have dwindled by times, Redden stayed with it and came back this year to play in his 1000th game and before being injured, he was a key piece of the Bruins playoff run.
4) Best TV Hockey Personality- Ron MacLean, Hockey Night In Canada.
Anyone who has ever watched a broadcast knows that his passion and knowledge of the game and the players is unmatched.
Runners up - Jeremy Roenick, Don Cherry
5) Worst TV Hockey Personality- Pierre McGuire, NBC.
Outside of Gary Bettman himself, Pierre may be the most hated man in hockey. Although I feel he is 100% genuine in his love of the game, his uncanny knack of annoying the hell out of everyone cannot be overlooked.
Runners up- Glen Healy, Mike Milbury, PJ Stock
6) Best Defenseman- Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Letang tied for the lead in points for a D-Man this year, was a plus 16 and only took 8 min in penalties. His speedy skating allows to him to jump into and lead rushes, while allowing him to easily get back into position.
Runners up- Ryan Suter, Niklas Kronwall.
7) Rookie of the Year- Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens.
Gallagher was the best all around rookie in the NHL this year. Though small in size, he is involved every time he steps on the ice, whether it be with goals or hits and he is always smiling when he’s doing it.
Runners up- Jonathan Huberdeau, Nail Yakupov.
8) Best Coaching Staff- Ottawa Senators.
I give this out not just to Paul MacLean, but would like to include Assistant Coach Dave Cameron as well, whose contributions to this team cannot be ignored. The Ottawa coaches were put to the test this season as the injury bugs hit hard and they were forced to play most of the season without their best forward, defenseman and goaltender. They persevered and not only made the playoffs, but routed the #2 seed Canadiens 4-1 to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Runners up- Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks
9) Top Prospect- Nathan Mackinnon, Halifax Mooseheads.
No disrespect to the talents of Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin, but I am going to stick with MacKinnon to be the best player to come out of this draft. His offense has always been there, but now we see a strong defensive awareness emerging from the young Cole Harbour, NS phenom.
10) Most Underrated Prospect- Peter Trainor, Rimouski Oceanic.
Last year he was a walk on who worked his way to the top line, scored 29 goals and led the team to the QMHL finals by firing 12 more. This year he flirted with the scoring title numerous times before finishing 4th with an even 100 points. He is draft eligible and may fly somewhat under the radar, but whoever takes him will be greatly rewarded.
11) Most Underrated Player- Dan Paille, Boston Bruins.
Paille continues to quietly be one of the league’s most reliable players. He kills penalties, hits and scores, and is often overshadowed but not under appreciated by the talent laden Bruins.
Runners up- Curtis Glencross, Bryan Bickell
12) Dirty Dangler Award- Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings. Eventually I will just name this award after Datsyuk. His skill level with the puck is unmatched. He makes the best players in the world look like amateurs with his puck handling, all done with the grace of a surgeon.
Runners up- Claude Giroux, Patrick Kane.
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