The 2011-12 Dater Awards
The ballots came on Thursday. Well, not real ballots. Like almost everything else that used to be on paper, the NHL awards that the Professional Hockey Writers' Association votes on are now part of the digital realm.
We scribblers have the honor of deciding the winners of five major NHL trophies: Hart, Calder, Norris, Selke and Lady Byng. But the league doesn't like it when writers make their choices public in advance, so we're going to do something a little different here with the regular season ticking down to its final days....
Welcome to the first annual NHL Dater Awards. Some recipients will like receiving them. Others will not.
The votes are in:
Columbus GM Scott Howson fired him exactly 59 games after the veteran coach had taken the Blue Jackets to the playoffs for the first and still only time in franchise history, in 2009. The team then rapidly turned into a worse joke than
Both were deemed expendable by Colorado and Boston, respectively, when their contracts were up. Their combined totals entering Friday, March 30: 120 points on 60 goals (Fleischmann 25, Ryder 35) and 60 assists (Fleischmann 33, Ryder 27). The Avalanche likely will miss the playoffs for the third time in four years, largely because of a lack of scoring. Boston wishes it had another goal scorer for the playoffs. Imagine that.
He's posted only nine shutouts and is contending for the Vezina Trophy just nine months after being let go for nothing by Colorado. Yeah, the team in front of him has helped, but his numbers have been astounding (23-9-3, 1.48 GAA, .943 saves pct.) for a guy who was supposed to be a sieve.
Much like giving the former original cast member of
One of these decades can we get a resolution as to what they're going to do? Can we finally just know whether there is a new owner who will keep the Yotes in Glendale or move them to Quebec, Seattle, Kansas City, Portland, Las Vegas, Hamilton or any one of a dozen other places? I mean, we'd all love to read another story about how Jerry Reinsdorf or Greg Jamison or some other buyer has emerged and the future looks bright in Phoenix and the league is committed to making it work and, oh, by the way, there's no deal yet and keeping the team there another year could go down to a last-minute Glendale city council vote telecasted on cable access. Unfortunately, this situation has truly devolved into one of the most tired storylines in sports history.
In the fine tradition of the former Atlanta Hawk being paid more money than NBA icons Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, Wisniewski's six-year, $33 million deal with the Jackets has always looked, um, shall we say,
Entering their game on March 29, they had suited up 45 players this season. That tops the total number of drummers who played at one time or another for the illustrious World's Loudest Band in Rob Reiner's famed rock "mockumentary"
Hockey and politics don't usually mix much or well. So when the netminder boycotted the Bruins' White House visit because of his beliefs, it set off a firestorm that seems in retrospect to have been a troublesome distraction for his team. As a guy making $5 million a year in the United States, he probably wasn't the best poster child for alleged repression by Big Gubmint.
Two words: "universe" and "humungous."
Anyone who doesn't get a little choked up watching this clip from HBO's