Canucks fans know how it feels to be slagged on by other teams' fans. We may be the league leaders in the "most hated fans".
Newsflash though folks. Its OK. Most of us locals not only get to watch and cheer a pretty good team the last several years, we get to live in the beautiful city of Vancouver.
So, as we march on to hopefully the "promised land", and get rid of the "No Cups" dig, I thought it a good time to recap the NHL Awards that the team's representatives are up for this summer.
It's not that we don't realize that most of these mean nothing without that Cup. It will be a disappointment if this season does not go all the way. But consider who is going to be in Vegas at the Palms hotel this summer.
Well, to start, Daniel Sedin will be there to pick up his Art Ross Trophy as this season's scoring leader. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider will be joining him to receive the team's first ever Jennings Trophy for the least goals against over 82 games.
Awards that are of course tallied and known, but will be announced that night include ;
Daniel Sedin joins Cory Perry and Martin St Louis as the top three vote getters for the hart Trophy as the Most Valuable Player. If he wins that or not, he has a chance to better his brother Henrik by also snagging the Lindsay Trophy, as voted on by the players. Perry and Steven Stamkos are the other nominees for that.
Everyone's favorite whipping boy, Roberto Luongo, somehow overcame all the things that everyone bitched about in his game to get a Vezina nod. Probably Tim Thomas's to lose, but perhaps it will help the Roy MacGregor's of the world to STFU.
Obviously Alain Vigneault is a good coach. Maybe he will overcome the stigma of having such a good team (1st in GAA, 1st in GF, 1st in PP, 3rd in PK ) to be acknowledged for guiding them to those heights while playing more guys than any other team at 39 this year. He will either watch Dan Bylsma or Barry Trotz take it home if it goes according to form, and the "best with the least" rationale wins out.
To me, my favorite award is the Frank Selke Trophy for best defensive forward, because it basically identifies the best two way hockey player in the NHL. Not the best defenseman, the Norris is there for that, not the Vezina for goalies. The Hart can be won by all of them, and usually goes to the forwards, but the Selke is acknowledgement of being not just an offensive wizard, but the first guy fans and coaches alike look for in the dying minutes with a one goal lead. This year, Ryan Kesler is nominated once again, joining Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Toews as the top 3. He is the favorite this year, by most media guys comments ( and they vote on it, so....)
The man who signed them all, and took the Burke / Nonis building blocks and formed them into the team this year is up for the General Manager of the Year Award ( and really, what about calling it the Toe Blake Trophy or something like that ?). Mike Gillis is joined by David Poile of the Predators, and Steve Yzerman of the Lightning.
What else? Well, the NHL Foundation Award, generally the award for being great guys ( but here's the language in the nomination ; The award recognizes an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community. ) Daniel and Henrik Sedin are both co-nominees this year, along with Dustin Brown and Mike Green.
Not sure who are the Mark Messier Leadership Award nominees, but its entirely possible one of the guys is up for that. King Clancy Award for Humanitarian Contributions to hockey. Ryan Kesler is an early favorite for the Conn Smythe, but its too soon for that one yet. (knock on wood! )
The President's Trophy will probably be acknowledged of course. The Cup, and the Western Conference (Clarence Campbell Trophy ) have yet to be determined. You would think there will be a ton of Canucks on the 1st and 2nd All Star Teams.
But when your team is up for everything but the Norris, Lady Byng, and Calder Trophies in a calender year, that aint all bad!