Next week the NHL will be hosting their awards night which showcases the best of the best from around the league. Since we weren’t allowed or invited to vote in the real NHL awards we decided to host our own. In our awards there’s a bit of a twist, and we need your help.
One of the problems with the NHL awards is our inability as fans to vote or nominate anyone. We want to change that. Therefore, all the nominees for every Nation Award will be voted on and recommended by you fine Nation citizens. To create a list of nominees for each category I will present the award and then you will recommend which NHL player should be nominated. We’re not only talking about Oilers players here so think about it, and get creative. Once the comments start rolling, we’ll count the responses and create our list of nominees.
Each category will have the four most suggested players from the comments of this article and from Twitter to compile our finalists. Easy enough, right?
1) Least Most Valuable Player
While the rest of the world is talking about who the best player in the NHL is, we want to know who’s the best at being the worst. We’re not talking about a fourth liner here, though. We’re talking about someone who plays a pivotal role on their team and contributes more mistakes than they do anything productive.
2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award
Last year the entire league was ready to write off Devan Dubnyk as an NHL goaltender. Fast forward 12 months and that same Devan Dubnyk has been nominated as one of the league’s best puck stoppers. We want to find the next Devan Dubnyk. This nomination is aimed at who you think is going rebound after going through a tough year, or maybe even a tough couple of years.
3) Unsung Hero
We all know the guys like Toews, Kane, Keith, etc that led a team like the Blackhawks, but we’re looking for the glue that keeps the whole thing together. We’re looking for a player that gets his nose dirty, plays the hard minutes, but doesn’t necessarily get the credit they deserve. Too close to the Selke? Then how about your favourite fist thrower that protects the guys and steps in when things get out of hand?
4) Biggest Liability
Norris trophy? Boring. Vezina trophy? It’s been done. We want to know who makes you hold your breath any time they’re on the ice. Is there a player out there that makes you throw things at your TV? That’s our man.
5) Most Punchable Face
There’s always “that guy.” That one player that drives you nuts, runs around the ice, takes cheap shots, and probably won’t back it up when shit hits the fan. Or just a guy whose face screams “HIT ME WITH A BLUNT OJBECT!”
6) Least Likely to be Seen Again
As Oilers fans we’ve seen players come and go over the years. Some of these players go on to other organizations, while others disappear after they’ve finished their cup of coffee. Some may see this as a slap in the face while we see it as a tribute to a player that will have played more time in the NHL than we ever will.
7) The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved
In Craig MacTavish’s season ending presser he qualified the progress late in the season by the ability to make six or seven passes in succession. Whether you consider this improvement or not is another matter entirely, but we’re taking this gem of a quote to create a category for the player that showed improvement throughout the year.
8) Most Kissable
Whether you find a certain player adorable or 50 shades of sexy this category is for you. The interesting thing to see will be what you guys do to interpret “most kissable.” Are you looking for lip quality? Maybe you’ve got a man crush that burns deeps inside of you and you finally have an opportunity to let it out? Whatever the reason, we want to know who the most kissable NHLer is.
9) Best Facial Hair
Since we don’t have the ability to watch our heroes grow playoff beards in the spring we’ve created a category that admires the facial hair of one amazing NHLer. Are you an Anton Lander pirate moustache fan? Maybe you swooned at the Eberbeard that made an appearance late in the year? The answer lies within.
10) Coach of the Year
As an Oilers fan you have the unique opportunity to nominate and vote for any of the three head coaches the Oilers have used this year. That’s awesome (mostly sad). Maybe the coach of the year wasn’t even an Oilers head coach — that’s up to you.
11) Blunder of the Year
This category is pretty self explanatory. I’m asking you to dig into your trunk full of memories and nominate the worst hockey play you saw last season. We’re looking for the play that made you laugh and cringe at the same time. Worst play of the day? Forget it. We want the worst play of the year.
12) The Silver Lining Award
As bad as things have been around here for the last 100 years there always seems to be at least one positive to take forward with us into next season. For this category, we’re looking for nominees that had a great season despite the lack of team success, or something/someone that you’re looking forward to for next year. This is the category where you nominate whatever keeps you coming back after another brutal year as an Oilers fan.
PLACE YOUR BETS…
Now comes your time to shine. We’ve created the categories and now we need you fine citizens to colour in the numbers. All I ask is that you include the category and player name in your comment when nominating someone. Feel free to pitch players for one category, all categories, or any mix in between. These awards won’t work without you guys, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with.
The voting will happen right back here on Friday and will run through the weekend until we announce the winners early next week. We may not be allowed to vote in the real NHL awards, but we’re allowed to create our own – take that PHWA!