Alright loyal readers, it's time for BHH's 2007 award winners. I tend to try to avoid the obvious winners, so here's who I think should bring home the hardware, not who obviously is. Well, there may be exceptions here and there. On with the awards!
King Clancy Memorial Trophy (Leadership and Humanitarian Contribution), Graham and LuAnn Snyder. For their quest to each NHL city in the U. S., the parents of the late Daniel Snyder deserve the King Clancy trophy for their efforts to raise money in each city for the Daniel Snyder Memorial Fund.
Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward), Mike Fisher, Ottawa Senators. The gritty center for Ottawa played against teams best lines almost every night and hung in there tough enough to help push the Senators into the playoffs. He also managed to knock in 22 goals of his own.
Lester Patrick Trophy (outstanding service to hockey in the United States), Mike Modano, Dallas Stars. He showed a ton of class after accidentally slicing open Jamie Heward in November, and he showed a complete lack of class after Jordin Tootoo rocked him with a clean hit in March. Either way, Modano became the all-time leading point getter among Americans this year, and this trophy is his reward.
Jack Adams Award (coach of the year), Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks. They soared out to a quick start with a lot of young talent, started to slow down, then got things righted again. This trophy probably belongs more to GM Brian Burke than it does to Carlyle, but there isn’t a trophy for “Best Front Office Blowhard.” A close runner up was Lou Lamoriello who was perfect in regulation this season.
Lady Bing Memorial Trophy (most gentlemanly conduct), Kyle Wellwood, Toronto Maple Leafs. 48 games, zero penalty minutes. That’s not bad, especially for a youngster, the type of players referees love to heap penalties on. Not to mention he also chipped in 12 goals and 30 assists, so it’s not like the officials couldn’t see him because he was invisible.
Calder Memorial Trophy (best rookie), Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings. Malkin and Staal had Crosby. Wolski and Stastny had Sakic. Who did Anze Kopitar have to help him to 20 goals and 61 points? Mike Cammalleri and Alexander Frolov. That’s why he gets the Calder.
James Norris Memorial Trophy (best defenseman), Dan Boyle, Tampa Bay Lightning. Unlike in the past, there’s really 5 d-men that could have won it this year. Nicklas Lidstrom has won it too many times in the past, so he’s out. Scott Neidermeyer had help from Pronger almost all year, so he’s out. Sergei Gonchar is still Sergei Gonchar, so he’s out. That leaves us with Sheldon Souray (a -28 on the year) and Dan Boyle (a -5 on the year). Dan Boyle may have had a quiet year, but the numbers he’s put up in the City of Tampa look like Norris numbers to me.
Vezina Trophy (best goaltender), Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils. He’s not the sexy pick that Roberto Luongo seems to be, he’s simply the man that won more games, and stopped more shots than any other goaltender in the league. That sounds like the best in my book.
Hart Memorial Trophy (most valuable player), Joe Thorton, San Jose Sharks. Crosby may have had more points, but Thorton was the most complete player in the league this year. Jonathan Cheechoo struggling? No problem, here’s a couple of other guys no one has ever heard of before in Ryan Clowe and Milan Michalek to help knock the pucks in. The ability to make somebody out nobodys helps put Thorton over the top.