Please contain your excitement. Ladies and gentlemen, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has arrived at the NHL Awards and he’s ready to mingle. In classic Ovi form, he has put on his most finely pressed blue suit (which is not at all new) and unbuttoned it. Guido look accomplished. All he needs now is a cigar to complete the look.
The NHL Awards show will be airing live from Las Vegas at 7 pm. Until then, we’ll be updating this post with all of Ovi’s escapades.
The coach and his pupil had dinner on Saturday night (I’m guessing in lawn chairs behind Tiesto’s turntables) and discussed which wing Ovechkin would play, the team’s new system, and well, other stuff that we’re not allowed to know right now so quit asking because it’s private. I guess we’ll find out at training camp.
At 7 PM on Tuesday, the NHL Awards will be held live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Everybody’s favorite Russian machine, Alex Ovechkin, will be in attendance. Ovi, who led the NHL in goals this season, is in town to accept the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the fourth time in his career. He’s also there to party.
But we at RMNB are concerned about something else much more important: the seating chart.
Who won the NHL’s Hart Trophy this year? If you ask this anchor in Australia, the answer is not Alex Ovechkin. For more anti-Russian bias from countries that were at one time under the rule of the United Kingdom, read on.
It’s a big freaking deal, especially if we consider the context of the local sports landscape. According to CSN’s Ben Raby, no DC-based athlete of any of the major four sports has ever won the MVP more than twice (the Senators’ Walter Johnson did so in 1913 and 1924). As much as Redskins fans love RGIII, this may even be a feat even he cannot accomplish.
During the fall, the NHL lockout was excruciating for fans. It wiped out 34 games and made both the NHL and NHLPA look petty, as both sides were unwilling to make actual compromise until a drop dead date for the entire season was announced in January. The sport rebounded well when it started up again. Attendance surged in the 48-game shortened season and the NHL is currently enjoying its greatest ratings ever in a Stanley Cup Final since 1997.
But the NHL awards so far have been a disaster. Because of the compressed schedule, the league was forced to cancel its postseason award show in Las Vegas. Instead, the NHL is announcing its winners on TV and letting the players know days beforehand so that they could either fly out to Chicago or do video acceptance speeches. On Friday, the first batch of award winners were announced on the NHL Network during rush-hour traffic. Tonight, the second batch of awards, which includes the Calder, Hart, Norris, Lindsay, and Vezina, will be announced at 7pm on NBC an hour before game two of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin is up for both the Hart and Lindsay awards.
Naturally, because of the advanced notice, there have been leaks. Several days ago, it was reported PK Subban won the Norris. Bob McKenzie is reporting that Jonathan Huberdeau has won the Calder. And now TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that Ovechkin has won the Hart trophy as the NHL’s MVP.
The NHL awards are always a weird hodgpodge affair of C-list celebrities and jokes that seemed funny before they were read off the teleprompter, but we got our own slice of specialized absurdity tonight, just for the Caps. In the video below, former Arrested Development star Will Arnett impersonates Brendan Shanahan — bored monotone and all — and disciplines Alex Ovechkin for a parking violation.
Wednesday was a night of hardware in the NHL as the league’s annual awards show took place in Las Vegas. The night’s biggest winners? Corey Perry of the Ducks picked up the Hart, Ryan Kesler of the Canucks hoisted the Selke, baby-faced Jeff Skinner of the ‘Canes took home the Calder, Stanley Cup champion Bruin Tim Thomas won the Vezina and Washington fan favorite Disco Dan Bylsma of the Pens presented with the Jack Adams Award.