Updates from the NHL Awards in Vegas

Alex Ovechkin poses with the Ted Lindsay Award, the only hardware he took home this year.

Jay Mohr, star of something, hosted the NHL Awards in Las Vegas tonight.  We watched with bated breath as three beloved players vied for recognition from the league’s notables.  Alex Ovechkin was up for the Lindsay (née Pearson) and the Hart, Mike Green for the Norris, and Jose Theodore for the Masterton.  Beyond the winners and loser, there’s some mighty important breaking news announced tonight, and we’ll tackle it all past the jump.

Alex Ovechkin won the NHLPA award for MVP, the Ted Lindsay Trophy.  Ovie’s speech fluctuated from rowdy hellos and Vegas cheers to a solemn invocation of his brother Sergei, who died in a car accident when Ovie was 10.  The music cued Ovechkin to cede the floor to the next presenter, but Ovie persevered, continuing his speech as soon as it died down.

Jose Theodore Masterton Trophy.

Jose Theodore wins the Masterton in his second and final year as a Cap. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

To the surprise of no one, Jose Theodore was awarded the Masterton Trophy.  Given to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey”, Jose was a shoo-in.  After the harrowing events of last summer, Theodore’s meteoric rise–  culminating in those wizardly performances of early ’10– was even more inspiring.  As we expected, Theo’s speech brought tears to nearly everyone in earshot.  It was only moments later that Tarik El-Bashir reported that Theodore will not be re-signed by the Capitals.  We’re saddened to lose such a great player and guy, but we’re thankful that we got to cheer for him at all.  Ever since that whole Paris Hilton thing ended, Jose has been nothing but class.

Mike Green did not win the Norris Trophy.  There’s no way to tread carefully around this point: it’s a sham.  As reported by Mike Vogel, Mike Green joins Sergei Gonchar as the only points-leading defenders to get passed over for the Norris every year.  We’re heartened that Mike Green is in Las Vegas, a bottomless font of empathy, where he can surely salve the wound with a bucket of ice-cold Red Bull and vodkas.

Finally, Alex Ovechkin did not win the Hart Trophy, nixing his chance for a threepeat.  The award went instead to Art Ross winner, Henrik Sedin.  It seems conclusive now that Ovechkin’s ten missed games, most due to suspension, were too many for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.  Our cold comfort on the snubbing is that Ovie handily beat Sidney Crosby in the race for second place.

Other observations on the NHL Awards:

  • Sidney Crosby won the Messier Leadership Award and the Freddie Mercury Overbite Award.
  • Host Jay Mohr spent most of the night pretending he was someone else.  The audience spent most of the night wishing Jay Mohr was someone else.
  • Mark Wahlberg, allegedly several mojitos into his evening, rambled his way through the Calder Trophy presentation.  Mark Wahlberg is a terrible actor, and I bet he has hair plugs.
  • The NHL awards were bedazzled by several auspicious musical performances.  Buffalo’s favorite sons, The Goo Goo Dolls, played their smash-hit “Home”, and heartland rockers Shinedown gave a rousing rendition of their chart-topping record, “Sound of Madness”.
  • Sarcasm, folks.
  • Unlike pretty much every other player there, Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin were mavericks sporting the suit-with-no-tie look. Also, they glowed with an aura possible only when one’s soul vibrates in perfect harmony with the city of Las Vegas.
  • Ryan Miller won the Vezina Trophy and has reportedly yet to let go of it.  Good on him and his manly head of hair.
  • Ian called the Masterton Trophy the “Mastodon“, and he’s livid about Ovie not winning the Hart.  Ask him for his feelings on it, but clear your schedule first.
  • Silencing the doubters, Mike Green reprised his thespian skills in a face-off with that damned Geico caveman.
  • Versus must have played that freaking commercial where the Penguins fans refuse to leave about a dozen times.
  • Elyssa

    This post made me extremely happy…and let me tell you, the constant stuff between Greener and the caveman totally gave me a false hope. I thought they were building it up for him to win and then have the caveman confront him for a finale with the trophy on stage where they reconcile and are friends again. Sadly I just ended my night wanting to throw my tv at the voting panel 🙁

  • Awwwwwwwwwwwww. Jose’s smile made my day and totally made me forget for a minute I spent my whole day in Mexico. 🙂
    And Ovie, glad you got a haircut, but I don’t like it very much. lol
    Well, I hope Canucks fans don’t think they are all chingones porque Hank gano el premio de MVP. Individual awards are cool, but the team effort’s the best. Seriously. Because people ques se crean nomas por una cosa, se asen bien mamones. jaja.
    [sorry for the Spanish.]
    Glad Ovie and Jose won. Mostly Jose. I was actually surprised Alex won something. [pessimist] And that the Caps do better next season. :]
    So, is it October yet?

  • I think Carrie Underwood and Hilary Duff should have been the musical guests aside from Goo Goo Dolls and Shinedown.

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  • Brandee

    Nice write up. That’s a great picture of Jose! Although he wasn’t my favorite player, he did play well considering what he went through and I’m pretty sad he’s definitely not returning. I am however incredibly bummed that Mike lost AGAIN! I think the NHL has something against him lol. but whatever…anyway, again nice write up. I agree with a lot of points you said..like the sucky entertainment & host

  • Taylor

    Greener probably would’ve won it this year had he done better in the playoffs. Jose completely deserved the Masterton and I’m sure his speech brought tears to nearly everyone. Caps are definantly going to miss him next year.
    Can anyone explain to me why Mark Wahlberg was on the NHL awards? im still confused by it.

  • J.P.

    Folks, there’s a reason Mike Green didn’t win the Norris: He’s consistently shown that he’s not a great defender. Yep, he can score, but the Norris ain’t about scoring, it’s about consistently great “D” – something our friend Mike too often forgets to play. It’s the same reason he didn’t get picked for the Olympic team, ya know…. (shrug)

  • Peter

    JP– check the stats. He’s got a terrific +/- (45), and is an actual factor in those pluses. Green’s offensive production WAY more than outweigh his (overblown) shortcomings on D— which means his net contribution is way more than his competitors.

    Also, let’s be careful not to confuse Bruce Boudreau’s system– which has Greener joining the O rush– with incompetence on defense.



  • BobbyG

    I’m happy for Ovie that he won something. I was prepared for him to get shut out of the awards completely, thus adding to the brutality of this past year. He looked nervous but relieved when he was announced as the winner, which is understandable. His tribute to his late brother Sergei never fails to bring a tear to my eye, and yesterday was no exception. Congratulations to Ovie on his much deserved victory.

    My LOL moment of the show: Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith’s acceptance speech, when he thanked his fiancee, noted Ovie was sitting next to her, then telling Ovie to keep his hands off. Hilarious!

  • J.P.

    His plus/minus rating means squat considering that he’s been totally and completely AWOL for two postseasons in a row. And since the team’s offensive prowess certainly skews the stats markedly higher than your average hockey club, I’m not buying that bit of statistical snake oil.
    None of the above means that I don’t appreciate what Mike brings to the game, I just don’t see him as being in the elite class of Blueliners. I just calls ’em as I sees ’em. I’m not sure what it is that you supposedly served me (though it was in ALL CAPS, so I’m guessing it’s something tasty….
    Anyhow, I enjoy the site and the hard work that goes into it, so many thanks for all the info and the chance for commentary.

  • Michael Hoffman

    Great article as always but honestly, despite what the stats say, Green is not the best defender in the league. Best offensive-minded defender in the league, no doubt, but for now he still makes a few too many mistakes to win this award.

  • Peter

    JP– Norris is about regular season, not postseason.