The First Annual Nation Awards: The Nominees


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. 



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!

  • Ready to Win

    1) Least Most Valuable Player – Nikitan, beats out other contenders based on salary, and expectations

    2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Hall

    3) Unsung Hero – Nuge

    4) Biggest Liability – Schultz

    5) Most Punchable Face – Lowe

    6) Least Likely to be Seen Again – Fasth

    7) The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved – Draisaitl

    8) Most Kissable – The Octane

    9) Best Facial Hair – Ebs for being the only one I can remember

    10) Coach of the Year – Todd McLellan just for signing

    11) Blunder of the Year – Trading Petry

    12) The Silver Lining Award – McDavid

  • abbeef

    1) Least Most Valuable Player: Mike Richards

    2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award: Nathan MacKinnon

    3) Unsung Hero: Voracek

    4) Biggest Liability: Nikitin

    5) Most Punchable Face: Matt Cooke

    6) Least Likely to be Seen Again: PASS

    7) The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved: Tarasenko

    8) Most Kissable: My wife says Lundqvist

    9) Best Facial Hair: Scott Hartnell

    10) Coach of the Year: Hartley

    11) Blunder(s) of the Year: Sitting Petry for Brad Hunt

    12) The Silver Lining Award: Winning the Draft Lottery

  • The Ever Disappointed Oil Faithful

    We should also have a Hamburglar award for the player that shone so brightly in the current year its inconceivable they can sustain it.

  • El Pindo

    1) Kessel
    2) Yak
    3) Gordon
    4) Jultz
    5) Phaneuf
    6) Kassian
    7) Dubnyk
    8) Baby Nuge
    9) Stralman – so weird
    10) Eakins
    11) Tim Murray saying he was disappointed
    12) Everyone hating us for the lottery!!!

  • LibrarianMike

    Okay, here goes.

    1. Least Most Valuable Player: Justin Schultz – I’m sure having all that pressure to live up to ‘Norris calibre’ billing can’t be fun, but I have a hard time seeing anything in his game. Maybe McLellan can turn him into something other than a complete (#SEE QUESTION 4).

    2. Devan Dubnyk Award: Nail Yakupov – He’s going to make all those ‘They should have drafted Galchenyuk’ people shut up once and for all.

    3. Unsung Hero: Anze Kopitar – Yes, he’s been up for a couple of Selke trophies and has won a couple of cups. He’s not often in the conversation, but he might be the best all-around player in the world.

    4. Biggest Liability: I’d like to say ‘Justin Schultz’, but he’s too far away so I’m just going to stand here.

    5. Most Punchable Face: Shane Doan is long, long, loooong overdue for a punch in the face.

    6. Least Likely to be Seen Again: Victor Fasth – “I like to berate the team in front of me while I’m letting in unscreened muffins from the blue line.”

    7. Most Improved: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I’ve gotta be honest; I didn’t see it before. I see it now. He’s going to be a great, great player for a long, long time.

    8. Most Kissable: Leon Draisaitl – Actually, I want to run my fingers through his hair but it’s all good.

    9. Best Facial Hair: Brent Burns – Homeless chic.

    10. Coach of the year: I think he’s a bit of a thug, but nobody got blood from a stone like Bob Hartley. I really hope for his sake that he doesn’t think it’s going to work next year though.

    11. Blunder of the Year: I’m tempted to say ‘MacT’ and drop the mic, but I’m going to go with Tim Murray gutting his team for a 20% chance at McDavid, not getting him, and then acting like a 2 year old about it. Buffalo will go nowhere with him in charge.

    12. Silver Lining: “The Edmonton Oilers select Connor McDavid”

  • vetinari

    1. J. shultz
    2. P. Marleau
    3. K. Clifford
    4. J. Shultz
    5. Z. Kassian
    6. M. Cullen
    7. V. Hedman
    8. H. Lundqvist
    9. B. Burns
    10. B. Hartley
    11. TB/CHI-Hedman takes out Vaselevskiy…ENG Sharp…series over (IMO)
    12. E. Ekblad

  • Darth Oiler

    1) Least Most Valuable Player

    David Clarkson, Mike Richards, or Travis Zajac. Add in Nathan Horton because you have to keep paying him for doing absolutely nothing. I choose Clarkson.

    2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award

    Alex Semin. That much talent can’t do that poorly again… right?

    3) Unsung Hero

    Marc Methot. Not just Karlsson’s partner. Same goes for Muzzin/Doughty.

    4) Biggest Liability

    Schultz is the easy choice here but I’m gonna go with Luca Sbisa.

    5) Most Punchable Face

    I would love to see Roussel, Bieksa, Shaw or Cooke eat fist but the award has to go to Dustin Brown. Throws a lot of hits, often questionably late or to the knees, and is one of the NHL’s most prolific divers imo.

    6) Least Likely to be Seen Again

    Kimmo Timonen.

    7) The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved

    Dubnyk. Cut by the Oil, Preds and Habs. Who knows if the improvement will last but wow he was like night and day.
    Honorable mention to Tarasenko. He was a beast in the playoffs last year and kept that momentum going through the entire 2014/2015 season.

    8) Most Kissable


    9) Best Facial Hair

    Burns. Not even close.

    10) Coach of the Year

    Paul Maurice. Gotta give Hartley props too but my inner Oilers fan likes to believe that their season was driven by a lot of luck.

    11) Blunder of the Year

    I think Calgary scored on themselves on a delayed penalty this season… that is slightly worse that some of the pizzas served by one particular Oiler.
    On the more “bloopery” side I would say Rinne losing the puck in his gear for like 5 minutes in OT, or this one:

    12) The Silver Lining Award

    McD. How could it be anything else?

  • Rebuilding the Rebuild

    1) Least Most Valuable Player: Nikitin

    2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award: Hallsy

    3) Unsung Hero: Purcell for being the only Oilers player to play in all 82 games. Let’s see Sammy Snowpants do that!

    4) Biggest Liability: Jultz

    5) Most Punchable Face: Jultz whilst jultzing.

    6) Least Likely to be Seen Again: Keith Aulie

    7) The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved: Lander

    8) Most Kissable: Bob Nicholson

    9) Best Facial Hair: Todd “Julien” Nelson

    10) Coach of the Year: MacT

    11) Blunder(s) of the Year: Everything about how Petry was handled.

    12) The Silver Lining Award: My season seats only went up 8%. and Pouliot. Oh and of course McDavid.

  • Brass Bonanza City

    It didn’t occur to me to pick non-Oilers, so this will be particularly painful.

    1. LMVP: Justin Schultz (god-willing, this will be the last time)

    2. Dubie Award: Hall

    3. Matty Hendricks is my hero, unsung or not.

    4. Biggest Liability: See #1

    5. Most Punchable Face: I don’t know why, but god help me, I lose my s#&* whenever I look into Teddy Purcell’s vacant stare

    6. Least Likely to Be Seen Again: In the NHL or on the Oilers? Actually, either way it’s Nikitin.

    7. 6-7 Passes Award: Lander

    8. Most Kissable: Klefbom is damned handsome and you all know it

    9. Best Facial Hair: Todd Nelson

    10. Coach of the Year: McLellan

    11. Blunder OTY: That epic defensive meltdown when Toffoli walked Brad Hunt in slow-motion. Sorry, Brad.

    12. Silver Lining: Either McDavid, or the fact that Nuge proved this year that we don’t *need* McDavid to step in and be our #1 right away. Improved overall depth at Center, let’s say.

  • Brass Bonanza City

    LMVP – Dion Phaneuf
    Most likely to rebound – Nathan MacKinnon
    Unsung Hero – Niklas Hjalmarsson
    Biggest liability – Nikita Nikitin
    Most Punchable Face – Brad Marchand (easily)
    Least likely to be seen again – Brad Hunt
    Most Improved – Nail Yakupov
    Most Kissable – Henrik Lundqvist
    Best Facial Hair – Brent Burns
    Coach of the Year – Peter Laviolette
    Blunder – Justin Shultz ‘Jultzing’ away Brossoit’s shutout bid
    Silver Lining – MCDAVID!

  • Petrolero

    I would appreciate more clarification regarding the distinction between least most valuable player and biggest liability because in my mind both brought one player to mind and one player only.

    Bonus points if anyone guesses who.

  • Ouroboros_Hydrocarbon

    1- Jultz. hands down
    2- Hall. He’s going to kill it this year
    3- Bieksa. Best team attitude. close 2nd- Hendricks
    4- NikiNiki
    5- Dale Weise. so useless
    6- Fasth. KHL.
    7- YAK
    8- Hendricks. what a beauty, reminds me of Bucky
    9- Garrison. or Burns
    10- is this even a ques? Todd
    11- Blunder of the year, not locking up Petry.
    12- Klefbom or Lander

  • B_Oliver

    1. Gotta be Jultz 2. Hall. Art Ross? 3. Eberle. Plays lots of minutes against the toughest competition, has been the lead scorer every year that Hall hasn’t [so consistent], but everyone always wants to trade him 🙁 4. Nikitin. I watched the guy drop his unbroken stick, and only pick it up after Scrivens had to make 3 dangerous saves, it was right beside him…5. Brad Marchand. 6. Farewell, Fasth! 7. Klefbom. Handled the toughs and shone 8. Nuge, so delicate. 9. Dat Eberbeard. He had a fked up rash/scar that stopped it from becoming fully magestic 10. Nelson. Dat powerplay doe. 11. Jultz, all alone with full possesion, just kind of skates away and leaves the puck for the bad guy at the half boards, and doesn’t realize until its already in the net. 12. IS IT THE DRAFT YET GUYS?

  • Mason Storm

    1: Alexander Semin 2: LA Kings 3:Brendan Gallagher 4:JULTZ!!!!
    5: Alex Burrows 6: Homeless Coyotes 7: Yak 8: Patrick Sharp 9: Brent Burns 10: Joel Quenville (keeps them on top)
    11: Ben Bishop colliding with Hedman (you have a torn groin, stay in your crease). 12: McDavid in 9 days!!!!!

  • Mason Storm

    Maybe the coach of the year wasn’t even an Oilers head coach — that’s up to you. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    That’s kind of funny.
    PS Looking at this list of awards I think that Justin Schultz will be brining home a lot of hardware. Next season the nation should unveil the league LVP award- the coveted (dreaded?) Jultz.

  • toprightcorner

    1. Least Most Valuable Player – Semin

    2. Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Mike Smith

    3. Unsung Hero – Beauchemin

    4. Biggest Liability – Jared Boll

    5. Most Punchable Face – Kaleta

    6. Least Likely To Be Seen Again – Gonchar

    7. The “6 or 7 Passes” Award for Most Improved – Hudler

    8. Most Kissable – Lundqvist

    9. Best Facial Hair – Brent Burns

    10. Coach of the Year – Capuano

    11. Blunder of the Year – Flames score on themselves when they pulled their goalie on a delayed penalty

    12. Silver Lining Award – MCDAVID

  • The Soup Fascist

    Most punchable: Tie between George Suffleuphagus and Damien Cox. I know they aren’t players but I friggin hate what Sportsnet has done to wreck hockey coverage for me. Bring back Ron MacLean and tell George and his inane questions and lisp to hit the road. Damien Cox is just so smarmy and Toronto-centric I would pay money to cuff him around. Better yet I’d love to let someone who actually knows hockey, Ray Ferraro do it.

    Bring back HNIC. For the love of God bring back TSN.

  • 1) Least Most Valuable Player – Dion Phaneuf

    2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Mike Smith

    3) Unsung Hero – Anton Stralman

    4) Biggest Liability – John Scott

    5) Most Punchable Face – Z. Kassian

    6) Least Likely to be Seen Again – Dany Heatley

    7) The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved – Victor Hedman

    8) Most Kissable – ummmm….

    9) Best Facial Hair – Brent Burns

    10) Coach of the Year – Pete Laviolette

    11) Blunder of the Year – Ben Bishop/Hedman collision in the finals

    12) The Silver Lining Award – McDavid

  • 1. Least Most Valuable Player – Mike Richards

    2. Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Taylor Hall

    3. Unsung Hero – Boyd Gordon

    4. Biggest Liability – Justin Schultz

    5. Most Punchable Face – Maxim Laperrier

    6. Least Likely To Be Seen Again – Victor Fasth

    7. The “6 or 7 Passes” Award for Most Improved – Mark Giordano (pre-injury)

    8. Most Kissable – King Henrik

    9. Best Facial Hair – Zetterberg

    10. Coach of the Year – Quenville

    11. Blunder of the Year – Bishop and hedman gaff in the stanley cup finals

    12. Silver Lining Award – MCDAVID

  • 1. Least Most Valuable Player – Eric Belanger

    2. Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Dwayne Roloson

    3. Unsung Hero – Baby Nuge

    4. Biggest Liability – Justin (Jultz) Shultz

    5. Most Punchable Face – Justin (Jultz) Shultz

    6. Least Likely To Be Seen Again – Ryan Potulny

    7. The “6 or 7 Passes” Award for Most Improved – Liam Reddox

    8. Most Kissable – Alexei Seminov

    9. Best Facial Hair – Michael Peca

    10. Coach of the Year – Kreuger

    11. Blunder of the Year – *Naturally, Justin Shultz walks out of the corner, falls over and leaves puck ,San Jose passes in uncontested scores on our rookie goalie Brossoit ruining his 900 save first game.*

    12. Silver Lining Award – Hendricks 2g, 1a game at world championship. and Macdavid.

  • Ouroboros_Hydrocarbon

    1. Jultz – Evander Kane
    2. Nail Yakupov – Jonathan Huberdeau
    3. Benoît Pouliot – François Beauchemin
    4. Nikita Nikitin – Slava Voynov
    5. Nikita Nikitin -Zack Kassian
    6. Tyler Bunz – Sergei Gonchar
    7. RNH – Filip Forsberg
    8. Neon Leon – Lupul
    9. Gazdic – Burns
    10. Joel Quenneville
    11. Jultz
    12. klefbom-McDavid

  • Ouroboros_Hydrocarbon

    1. Alex Semin 2. Jonathan Bernier 3. Justin Williams 4. Alex Semin 5. Brendan Gallagher 6. Scott Gomez (finally) 7. Tyler Johnson 8. Ilya Bryzgalov (most likely to compare my kissing ability to the wonders of space) 9. Scott Hartnell (can’t beat the 2009-2010 playoff look) 10. John Cooper 11. Bishop & Hedman collide in Game 5 and give Sharp an open net. 12. Blurg…for the Oilers…Eberle?

  • Kayls

    1) Least Most Valuable Player – Ales Hemsky (sorry)

    2) Most Likely To Rebound – Ben Scrivens (fingers crossed)

    3) Unsung Hero – Baby Nuge

    4) Biggest Liability – Nikita Nikitin

    5) Most Punchable Face – Johnny Gaudreau, I hate his smug 12 year old face

    6) Least Likely to be Seen Again – Viktor Fasth

    7) Most Impreoved – Anton Lander

    8) Most Kissable – Oscar Klefbom, he is absolute perfection

    9) Best Facial Hair – Brent Burns

    10) Coach of the Year – Todd McLellen 😉

    11) Blunder of the Year – The guy who clotheslined himself with a hockey stick

    12) Silver Lining – MCDAVID

  • Darth Oiler

    1. Least Most Valuable Player – Nikitin

    2. Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Yakupov

    3. Unsung Hero – A.Vermette

    4. Biggest Liability – J.Schultz

    5. Most Punchable Face – Dallas Eakins

    6. Least Likely To Be Seen Again – Keith Aulie

    7. The “6 or 7 Passes” Award for Most Improved – Yakupov

    8. Most Kissable – M.Rheaume

    9. Best Facial Hair – B.Burns

    10. Coach of the Year – Hartley

    11. Blunder of the Year – Signing of Nikitin

    12. Silver Lining Award – Oilers replace Lowe/MacT/Eakins with Chiarelli/Mclellan

  • Joy S. Lee

    1. Least Most Valuable Player – Has to be Justin Schultz, who is so far removed from MacT’s Norris assessment that it’s cutting-edge comedy. If I had more votes, I’d add Semin just so I could ask if anyone knows whether his teammates call him the “Seminator.” The great irony is that the individual Rebound Award (below) could easily have been named after last year’s winner of either this award or the Biggest Liability. Proves its legitimacy, I suppose, lol.

    2. Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Mike Smith (which is why I’d like to see the Oilers seek him out for a reasonable return… he can pass the puck up ice to the fast guys… guys like McDavid and Hall.)

    3. Unsung Hero – Andrew Shaw – though the Anton Stralman argument could stand up for the last two consecutive playoffs.

    4. Biggest Liability – Justin Schultz – I had limited exposure to the NHL this past season, so I’ll retreat (unfairly) to my standard fallback position. Jeez, it would be nice to see – at the NHL level – whatever it was everyone was fighting over. Enter Todd McLellan’s greatest challenge.

    5. Most Punchable Face – Ryan Kesler

    6. Least Likely To Be Seen Again – Pugilists, followed by Kimmo Timmonen.

    7. The “6 or 7 Passes” Award for Most Improved – Hampus Lindholm

    8. Most Kissable – Johnny Hockey – ‘cause if I have to pick one, I’m picking the cute kid that looks like he’s twelve? Oh great, you’ve got me kissing a guy, and now I sound like a creep. Okay, I’ll stick with my answer if we can just move on.

    9. Best Facial Hair – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Ok, maybe not yet, but that stash could really be something some day. Otherwise, it’s gotta be Burns.

    10. Coach of the Year – Bob Hartley – Easy choice. Guy used to be a first-class *ahem, but completely changed his approach. Looks like it’s working in a big way.

    11. Blunder of the Year – I agree with the Hedman and Bishop collision because of its’ ultimate implications in the grand scheme of things. Ironically, both players were exceptional in getting them to that point.

    12. Silver Lining Award – McDAVID – and the beauty of that was the three teams that purposely tanked lost out, while the Oilers put their best foot forward and won. They kind of earned the Silver Lining, so to speak. But that’s all only applicable so long as a bunch of sniveling Toronto reporters don’t get the draft lottery results overturned.