1.23.2007

NHL could recognize more on ice talent

Recently, I went over all the awards that THN would give at the mid season mark. They made sense, but it got me thinking, how about some new awards. Some are good, and others clearly wouldn't happen. Here are my choices to award more talent.

The Ken Dryden Trophy- Awarded to the best rookie goaltender. The NHL could use an award like this to help Calder voting get to be more on the skaters. When Andrew Raycroft won the Calder in '04, people in Montreal and Long Island were wondering what happened to Michael Ryder and Trent Hunter. Last season, when Alex Ovechkin deservedly won the trophy, Buffalo and Carolina fans quietly whispered displeasure about why Ryan Miller and Cam Ward didn't get enough votes. With the Dryden Trophy, young goalies could finally be recognized. Heck, I like that idea so much I'll give out the award yearly.

The Bob Probert Award- Given to the player who best shows that fighting and skating go well together. Sorry Sean, you won't get my vote for this one. This award could recognize guys who are famous for grit, but their scoring is admired as well. Someone like Niklas Hagman or Chris Neil could easily get this award, or even someone like Mike Grier. Specifically, a guy who can score 15+ goals a season and account for the team lead in PIMs. Maybe once Keith Tkachuk starts scoring, he could make it his annually.

The Neil Smith Trophy- For the best GM that doesn't get to stick around. Smith would not only win it this year, but it should be named after him so that way people who won't always remember can. At some point I'll lower the qualifications and include coaches (I'm staring at Mike Kitchen).

The Alexei Yashin award- This one goes to the most underachieving player of a high stature. I know, I know, Yashin has really picked it up this year, but it's in honor of his past. Maybe I should name it the Alexander Daigle award. No, that's up next. Jeremy Roenick, you are the first two-time winner of this award. Last year in L.A. was totally wrong, and you aren't doing to well with the 'Yotes either. Pick it up or it'll go to you personally, just like Frank Boucher and the Lady Byng.

The Alex Daigle award- To the next draft pick bust who retires just as his career gets to be respectable. Daigle scored 51 and 37 points in his last two years, and now the Wild will likely never see him again. I can't wait to see when I actually get to give this to someone, because I can't remember any other bust that recently came on.

Well, that's my awards that the NHL needs. Later folks.

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