2008 NHL Awards were handed out with few surprises
And the winner is...
The “who’s your daddy” award was handed last week to the Detroit Red Wings in the form of the Stanley Cup and the winners of the other awards were announced on Wednesday night. Once again, it was all about Alexander Ovechkin who took home 4 awards while Pavel Datsyuk earned a trophy for each hand. To add a nice treat to the evening, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman introduced new hardware called the Lifetime Achievement award and its inaugural winner.
Ovechkin was like a little kid getting his first bike each time he walked up the steps at the Elgin Theater in Toronto to receive his 4 awards; the Art Ross, the Rocket Richard, the Lester Pearson and the Hart Trophy as league MVP. It was an incredible night for the amazing and charismatic “AO” who is well deserving of all of those trophies.
Not to be out done, Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk carried 2 well-earned awards off the stage; the Lady Byng and the Frank J. Selke. When you add the Presidents Trophy and the Stanley to Datsyuk’s cabinet, it adds up to the 4 that Ovechkin won this year. It was funny when he went up to the podium to accept his first award of the night and his speech was all of 8 words; “I wrote speech longer, but my English short.” At least he tried.
Datsyuk’s teammate, Nicklas Lidstrom won his 6th Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman while Detroit’s coach Mike Babcock lost his nomination. The Washington Capitals rookie coach Bruce Boudreau beat Babcock and Guy Carbonneau for coach of the year in what was an unsurprising upset.
Martin Brodeur continued to own the goalie crease, winning his 4th Vezina Award in the past 5 seasons only getting 7 more votes than 2nd place Evgeni Nabokov. How many more years does the Vezina king have left in him, will be the big question asked about Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.
It was up to rookie Nicklas Backstrom to win every award that a Capitals player was nominated for, but unfortunately for him he failed. The Calder Trophy went to Chicago’s Patrick Kane who will lead the Blackhawks for many years to come with 3rd place finisher Jonathan Toews.
The first NHL Lifetime Achievement Award ever handed out, was given to the great Gordie Howe by Commissioner Bettman. During his 26-season NHL career which began in 1946 and ended in 1980, Howe played in a record 1,767 games, winning 6 Hart Trophies, 6 scoring titles and 4 Stanley Cups. He was an NHL All-Star 21 times, finally retiring at the age of 52 after a spectacular career.
> Find Washington Capitals hats, Pittsburgh Penguins apparel and Red Wings hats & gear online through ProHockey-fans.com!
There were 2 other awards handed out that do not receive huge amounts of attention in the public. The King Clancy award was won by Vincent Lecavalier for his humanitarian work and the Masterson Trophy was voted to Jason Blake for his qualities of sportsmanship, perseverance and dedication to hockey.
Just for bragging rights, I would like to add that I predicted 6 of 7 winners on my write-up of the 2008 NHL award nominees. Thanks Babcock.
Hart Trophy | Adams Trophy | Byng Trophy | Calder Trophy | Norris Trophy | Selke Trophy | Vezina Trophy
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
> Follow the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs online with Pro Hockey Fans!
> Find all of the NHL news & articles online from Pro Hockey Fans.