With the Jets win over the Flames earlier in the day, the Canucks secured home ice advantage in the first round, making the evening's game against the Oilers completely meaningless. What was not meaningless, at least in the eyes of the Canucks PR department anyway, was the unveiling of this year's Canucks Players awards. To nobody's surprise, Radim Vrbata captured two of the awards, while Derek Dorsett and Chris Tanev snatched trophies of their own. Let's get to the analysis.
Radim Vrbata - Team MVP and Most Exciting Player
Radim Vrbata picked up arguably the two most coveted awards the organization offers, winning the Cyclone Taylor Trophy as the team MVP along with the Pavel Bure Award as the Canucks' most exciting player.
The 33-year-old was brought in as a free agent primarily to play with the Sedins, but Willie Desjardins has used him up and down the line-up. For the past few weeks, Vrbata has been giving new life to a previously lifeless second line consisting of him, Nick Bonino and Chris Higgins.
The Czech winger scored a team-high 31 goals and had 32 assists to go with it. Arguably the most consistent player on the roster, Vrbata never went more than four games without scoring a goal. He was a central part of the team's first powerplay unit, the team's most reliable shootout taker and the sniper behind some of the Canucks prettier goals this season, including this dandy against the Senators:
Chris Tanev - Best Defenseman
Chris Tanev picked up the Babe Pratt Trophy for being the team's best defenseman. Tanev, along with his partner, Alex Edler, played some of the blueline's toughest minutes, consistently going up against other team's top forwards.
Tanev, who was credited for being a large part of Edler's resurgence, rarely made a bad play in his own zone. And while his offensive game continues to struggle, Tanev's effectiveness extends beyond the parameters of putting up points, as outlined in this post by Thomas Drance of the Nation Network.
Tanev was rewarded for his play with a five-year contract, and, at just 25 years of age, is expected to play a major role in the Canucks' upcoming seasons.
Derek Dorsett - Unsung Hero
Derek Dorsett was awarded the Fred J. Hume Trophy as the team's most under-appreciated player. Another player playing in his first year with the team, Dorsett took a leadership role while playing on the fourth line, often with youngsters such as Bo Horvat and Ronalds Kenins.
Dorsett represents the future of the NHL enforcer. He's brave, energetic and shows no hesitation in sticking up for his teammates. His lack of size combined with his fearless mentality (he won't back down from any challenger) make him a popular guy in the locker room as well as with the fan base - so much so that they voted him the team's unsung hero.
The Canucks also gave awards to goaltender Ryan Miller, who was awarded the Three Star Award, despite missing significant time with injury, and Daniel Sedin, who took home the Cyrus H. McLean Trophy as the team's top scorer.