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.
…Actually, we can see that happening.
Monday night, Brendan Shanahan suspended Alex Ovechkin three games for his hit on Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek. Tuesday morning, George McPhee announced that Ovi would be pulling out of the All-Star Game and its festivities in Ottawa. “Because he’s a suspended player, he doesn’t feel like he deserves to be there, so he’s not going to go,” McPhee told the gathered media. “He doesn’t want to be a distraction to the event.”
Fair enough. Yet Ovi’s decision to skip All-Star weekend has been met with criticism from some and anger by others. St. Louis Blues winger Andy McDonald tweeted a “a classless move by Ovi ‘opting’ out of the NHL Allstar Game.” What they don’t seem to realize is that Ovechkin has lots of other important things to be doing with his time. First things first, shaving-cream pie Mathieu Perreault.
It’ll be twelve days between when Ovechkin was suspended and when we next see him on the ice, so in the meantime, here are a few things we think he might be up to.
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