Friday, June 11, 2004

2004 NHL Awards

If you watched the 2004 NHL Awards, you saw... -the attendees file through their buffet reception prior to the ceremonies -Martin St Louis, winner of Stanley Cup, Art Ross, Lester B. Pearson, Hart Memorial, and First Team All-Star -Russell Crowe, Mike Vernon, and Paul Coffey -Wendel Clark's microphone not working -Senator Frank Mahovlich -Brad Richards quietly win the Lady Byng (after winning the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP) -Kris Draper, introduced as the One Dollar Man ("I was hoping that wasn't gonna be brought up...") -Host Ron MacLean joke about Michael Ribeiro, Martha Stewart, the New York Rangers, Zdeno Chara, Alexander Mogilny, Darryl Sutter, Don Cherry, the goal judge in Calgary, Ville Nieminen, Tampa Tribune, Florida's hanging chads -Ron MacLean actually ask the Canadian crowd if they thought that the Game 6, third period Calgary shot was a goal -Canadian "entertainment": Jeff Healy and Healy's House Band, The Trews. Members of Great Big Sea and Blue Rodeo also presented. -The Canadian Liberal and Conservative Parties bash each other during commercials -Mats Naslund speak via satellite from Sweden to fellow #26, Martin St Louis -hockey players stumble in their rare public speeches (Mike Vernon was the worst) -the only awards show without the Hilton sisters -John Tortorella dedicating his Jack Adams Award to the Lightning organization, stating it was a team award ("It is not about one guy. It is about an organization") -Surprises: Scott Niedermayer winning the Norris with Chara heavily favored, Martin Brodeur winning the Vezina Trophy with Kiprusoff favored -Martin St Louis notch the rare Triple Crown of Hockey: Art Ross Trophy, Stanley Cup, Hart Memorial Trophy. Others to do it are Wayne Gretzky (1987, 1985, 1984), Guy Lafleur (1978, 1977), Bobby Orr (1979), Jean Beliveau (1956), Gordie Howe (1952), Bill Cowley (1941), and Howie Morenz (1931) -Kris Draper, as expected, win the Selke. He thanked the Illitches and singled out linemate Kirk Maltby (who finished 7th in Selke voting) -Jarome Iginla the only player to thank God -Ilya Kovalchuk, Maurice Richard co-winner, skipped the event Award Winners: Art Ross Trophy: Martin St. Louis Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Bryan Berard Calder Memorial Trophy: Andrew Raycroft Clarence S. Campbell Bowl: Calgary Flames Conn Smythe Trophy: Brad Richards Frank J. Selke Trophy: Kris Draper Hart Memorial Trophy: Martin St. Louis Jack Adams Award: John Tortorella James Norris Memorial Trophy: Scott Niedermayer King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Jarome Iginla Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Brad Richards Lester B. Pearson Award: Martin St. Louis Lester Patrick Trophy:Mike Emrick, John Davidson, Ray Miron Maurice Richard Trophy: Ilya Kovalchuk, Rick Nash, Jarome Iginla Presidents' Trophy: Detroit Red Wings Prince of Wales Trophy: Tampa Bay Lightning Vezina Trophy: Martin Brodeur William M. Jennings Trophy: Martin Brodeur Quotable:
"It was amazing how fast my heart was beating. It is a huge thrill. One of my biggest thrills is to know Steve Yzerman has his name on this trophy. This means a lot to be signaled out as a Selke Trophy winner. It is very special."
--Kris Draper, finally recognized for his individual play Thoughts All in all, it was a fun night, Canadian bands and Ron MacLean humor aside. Luckily, I watched the show on tape, so I was able to fast forward through these parts. Sometimes, it was really painful watching the winners/presenters stand at the podium and try to speak to their colleagues. Think of Doug Brown subbing for Mickey Redmond on the road way back when and multiply it by ten. Guys, don't quit your day jobs. It was nice to see ex-Wings Mike Vernon and Paul Coffey presenting. My best memory of Vernon in Hockeytown was during the Cup parade in 1997, holding his Conn Smythe proudly. Unfortunately, he was not re-signed by the Wings after that great season. As for Coffey, I can forgive him for scoring on the Wings net when he was here, and remember how well he commanded the blue line. His being traded to the Hartford Whalers in 1996 also made it possible for the Irish Jig to play in Detroit. News on the Golden Brett General manager Ken Holland has told Brett Hull that the Wings will not offer him another contract at this time:
"We're not going to do anything right now. I can't tell you what the summer's going to bring. But certainly probably heading into the CBA we're not going to do anything."
Hull played awful in the playoffs (though he had a broken toe), had a 21-game scoring drought this season, clashed with coaches and players, and complained about ice time after the Wings lost in the playoffs. In all sincerity, thanks for everything, Brett. I appreciate everything you did. It was a heck of a run. Other News Holland also told Steve Thomas that the Wings won't offer him another contract. As was the Hull decision, this was long expected. Thomas, 40, will likely retire. Holland is still negotiating with Shanahan and Schneider. Holland on whether the Wings will be active this summer:
"We want to see what July 1 brings for unrestricteds, but that doesn't mean we're going to sign anybody. We're kind of waiting for a CBA. But that doesn't mean we're not going to sign anybody. If somebody takes a number that I think makes sense for where we're trying to go, we'll work on it. But those are numbers that are not in line with probably the thinking in the past."


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