The 2nd Annual Nation Awards: The Nominees

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Last year, we started a new tradition around these parts. Since no one will let us vote for the actual NHL Awards (thanks PWHA) we decided to take matters into our hands and created an award show for the ages, and I need your help. We need nominees for our award categories, and that’s where you come in. 

One of the problems we have with the actual NHL awards is the inability for fans to have any say whatsoever. The NHL might suggest that turning the voting/nominating over to the fans would cause a major shit show, and ruin the sanctity of the NHL Awards, but that’s not a concern for us. We actually appreciate your input. In fact, having you guys nominate the finalists makes a world of sense to me. You’re all fans of hockey so why wouldn’t we give you the keys to the nomination van?

To get a list of nominees for each award, I will present the award category (below) and then it will be up to you to recommend which NHL player should be nominated. Just remember, we’re not just talking about Oilers players here so think about your nominees, and get a little bit creative. Once the comments start rolling in, we’ll count the responses and create our list of finalists. From there, we will take the four most suggested players from the comments section to compile our list of finalists. Easy enough, right? Cool. 

THE CATEGORIES

Categories

1) Least Most Valuable Player

While the rest of the hockey world talks about who is the best player in the NHL, we want to know who’s the worst. We’re not talking about throwing a fourth liner under the bus here. We’re talking about someone who plays a big role on their respective team but is more likely contribute a face melting mistake more so than do anything productive. 

Last year’s winner: Nikita Nikitin

2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award

Remember when everyone (*cough* MACT! *cough*) wrote Devan Dubnyk off a few years back? After having one of the worst seasons of his career he rebounded with a Vezina nomination and a long term contract with the Wild. In this category, we’re looking to find the next Devan Dubnyk. Essentially, this category is aimed at who you think is going rebound after going through a horrible season, or even a couple of seasons.

Last year’s winner: The Edmonton Oilers Franchise

3) Unsung Hero

Anybody that’s watching the playoffs knows that guys like Crosby, Kessel, Malkin, and Letang are expected to carry the mail on a daily basis, but, in this category, we’re looking for a glue type player that keeps the whole thing together. We’re looking for the kind of guy that gets his nose dirty, plays tough minutes, but doesn’t necessarily get the credit they deserve.

Last year’s winner: Niklas Hjalmarsson

4) Most Punchable Face

There’s always that one guy that bothers you regardless of what they’re doing. I’m talking about that guy that drives you nuts whenever he’s on TV. This is the guy that is likely to run around the ice, take cheap shots on your star, and probably won’t back it up when shit hits the fan. Personally, I’m enjoying the irony of last year’s winner. 

Last year’s winner: Zack Kassian

5) Least Likely to be Seen Again

This award is pretty self explanatory. For this category we’re looking for the player that you think has seen his last days in the NHL. As Oilers fans would know, we’ve seen plenty of players come and go over the years and this award is meant to honour them. 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.

Last year’s winner: Linus Omark

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

In Craig MacTavish’s 2014-15 season ending press conference he qualified the progress late in the season by the team’s ability to make “six or seven passes” in succession. Whether you consider the ability for an NHL team to make several passes in a row an improvement or not is inconsequential. We’re taking this gem of a MacQuote to create a category for the player that showed moderate improvement throughout the year.

Last year’s winner: Devan Dubnyk

7) Most Kissable

If you’ve ever found a particular player adorable or 50 shades of sexy this category is for you. The interesting thing about this category is seeing how you guys 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.

Last year’s winner: NUUUUUUUUUUUGE

8) Best Facial Hair

This category goes out to the players with the ability to display their manliness on their face. Since we don’t have the opportunity to watch our hometown heroes grow playoff beards in the spring we’ve created a category to admire the facial hair of one amazing NHLer. Are you a fan of Eric Gryba’s thick luscious beard? Maybe you swooned at the Eberbeard that made an appearance throughout the season? There can only be one winner. 

Last year’s winner: Brent Burns

9) Coach of the Year

You don’t really need an explanation for this category, do you? Which coach does it right. Simple. Easy. Moving on…

Last year’s winner: Bob Hartley

10) Blunder of the Year

This category is also self explanatory. I’m asking you to dig into your tickle trunk full of memories and nominate the worst hockey play you saw last season. Was it Steve Mason’s turd of a goal in the playoffs? Was it Justin Schultz’s play from October-April? Essentially, we’re looking for that play that made you laugh out loud and cringe at the same time. Worst play of the day? Not big enough. We want the worst play of the year. 

Last year’s winner: The Jeff Petry Trade

11) The Silver Lining Award

As bad as things have been around here for the last half century there always seems to be that one thing that pulls us back in for next season. For this category, we’re looking for something/someone that has you looking forward to for next year. This is the category where you nominate whatever it is that pulls you back into the saddle and ready for more punishment.

Last year’s winner: Winning the McDavid Draft Lottery

PLACE YOUR BETS

PlaceYourBets

Now that the categories have been explained I turn this article over to you. Our job was to put the categories together 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. The Nation Awards don’t work without you guys, and I’m looking forward to see who you guys think deserves the nomination for each award. 

After the nominees are submitted and counted, I’ll put together a list of finalists for you guys to vote on early next week. From there we will reveal the winners in a gala affair closer to the actual NHL Awards on June 22nd. We may not be allowed to vote in the real NHL awards, but we’re allowed to create our own ridiculous categories, ask you guys for nominations, and turn over the voting to the fans – take that PHWA!

  • LibrarianMike

    1. Least Most Valuable Player: Shea Weber. Seriously, he’s not that good anymore. Oilers fans need to stop thinking he would be anything other than an anchor on this team.

    2. Most Likely to Rebound: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Whether it’s as an Oiler or not, he’s going to be in the Selke conversation sooner rather than later.

    3. Unsung Hero: Phil Kessel. He’s a deadly and consistent goalscorer, fast as the wind, and he gets zero respect from many ‘knowledgeable’ hockey writers and executives. His omission from Team USA is an absolute insult.

    4. Most punchable face: Patrick Kane. We all know why.

    5. Least Likely to be Seen Again: Artemi Panarin. His back is bound to give out soon, since he’s been a professional hockey player for the past 23 years. Hell of a ‘rookie’ though.

    6. Most Improved: Leon Draisaitl. He couldn’t keep up his torrid pace, but he was KILLING IT for a while there. Here’s hoping he keeps it up next season.

    7. Most kissable: Oscar Klefbom’s abs.

    8. Best Facial Hair: Joe Thornton should get his name etched onto the Stanley Cup just for that beard.

    9. Coach of the Year: Willie Desjardins. YOU try icing a competitive team with Jim Benning as your GM.

    10. Blunder of the Year: *phone rings* “Hello? Yes, this is Jim Benning.”

    11. Silver Lining: McDavid will not win the Calder, but he’s probably going to win the Hart and Art Ross next year.

  • 1) Least Most Valuable Player

    Lauri Korpikoski

    2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award

    ANTON LANDER #IStandWithLander

    3) Unsung Hero

    Gene Principe

    4) Most Punchable Face

    Gonna go with Zack Kassian again, BUT THIS TIME HE’S OURS!!

    5) Least Likely to be Seen Again

    Adam Clendening

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

    Neon Leon

    7) Most Kissable

    Chris The Intern

    8) Best Facial Hair

    Joe Thornton and his bird nest

    9) Coach of the Year

    Bob Hartley

    10) Blunder of the Year

    Jim Benning’s entire tenure with the Canucks

    11) The Silver Lining Award

    ALL THOSE HIGHLIGHT REEL GOALS CONNOR SCORED!!

  • Simmerdown

    1. Tarasenko
    2. Drouin
    3. Rust
    4. Kane
    5. Marcobello
    6. Kessel
    7. Burns (just because it’s so gross)
    8. Thorton
    9. Sullivan
    10. Benning’s trade deadline “moves” (He reminds me of Tambo)
    11. MacDavid, Nurse, etc. are protected from expansion draft due to age/contract. (if expansion happens this year)

  • Twitch

    1) least MVP: tough call for Yakupov or Schultz but seeing as I had the sneaking suspicion Jultz would be as bad as he was I give Fail with Nail the edge
    2)Dubnyk Award: Martin Marincin, something about his play makes me think he will become a top 4 d-man next year
    3)Unsung Hero: I was trying to keep an Oilers theme going but no one not named Hendricks deserves a sniff, for how much hate he gets I say Marchand is a better player than many people let on
    4)Punchable Face: see #3 that Marchand guy is who I would hate with the fire of a thousand suns until he is on my team
    5)Least Likely To Be Seen Again: Anton Belov…..I had to think hard just to remember his damn name
    6)Most Improved: Leon is the obvious choice but I will defer to Davidson filling in and thriving when other defenders pooped the bed
    7)Most Kissable: I will let someone else answer I couldn’t give an educated guess/my wife says Eberle
    8)Best Facial Hair: Burns….moving on
    9)Best Coach: not Mike Babdabclock 😛 Mike Sullivan for turning a sputtering Penguins team into a cup winner
    10)Worst Blunder: Steve Mason letting in that center ice goal
    11)Silver Lining: CONNOR!!!!

  • RomZ

    1. Least Most Valuable Player: Lauri Korpikoski.

    2. Most Likely to Rebound: Taylor Hall. 65 points is low by his standards, I expect he will be a PPG player this season.

    3. Unsung Hero: Phil Kessel. I feel hes the Rodney Dangerfield of the NHL.

    4. Most punchable face: Shane Doan after hes runs someone from behind and gives the ref the stinkeye after being called for it.

    5. Least Likely to be Seen Again: Marcobello. Sad Panda.

    6. Most Improved: Leon Draisaitl. Consistency is the hardest part of being in the NHL.

    7. Most kissable: My McDavid jersey. Just me? alright then.

    8. Best Facial Hair: Burns/Thornton. Those beards will have to be added to the sharks protected list for the upcoming expansion draft.

    9. Coach of the Year: Jon Cooper. He managed to take Tampa to the ECF despite missing several key contributors.

    10. Blunder of the Year: *Insert any Jim Benning move here*

    11. Silver Lining: Connor McDavid is an Oiler!!!

  • Ol_OneNut

    1.Vanek
    2.Nuge
    3.Vlasic
    4.Polak lol
    5.Nikitan
    6.Marchand
    7.Burns
    8.Thornton
    9.Sullivan
    10.Schultz Oil-Flames Dec 27
    11.McDavid is ours for a very long time.

  • Cheesums

    1) LMVP: Chris Pronger – most valuable to the Coyotes cap, least valuable to their ice time

    2) Dubnyk Award: Nail. Hate to see you go 🙁

    3) Unsung Hero: Maroon. Not cause of him being an awesome addition, but for stealing the puck against his former team when he knew that’s their tradition.

    4) Punchable Face: Alex Burrows. Not much competition.

    5) least likely to be seen again: Datsuyk 🙁

    6) Most Improved: Gonna go with Kuznetsov. He was huge to the Caps season until they remembered who they were in the playoffs.

    7) Most Kissable: McDavid. The amount of love for him is pretty sky high.

    8) Best Beard: Thornton. I forget what his face actually looks like under that beast.

    9) Coach of the year: I would vote Boudreau for their turnaround, but he got canned. So Sullivan for his even better turnaround.

    10) Blunder: The goal mason let in.

    11) Silver Lining: Connor McDavid wears an Oilers jersey. I’ll watch every game just for that.

  • Prometheus

    1) Johnathan Quick is not an elite goaltender.

    2) How can Steven Stamkos not score 60 playing on Connor’s wing?

    3) Still going strong at 44 years young: Jaromir Jagr.

    4) Too many to name, but let’s go with Corey Perry.

    5) I can hope it’s Korpikoski, but I think the tougher answer is Luke Gazdic, as much as it pains me.

    6) Brandon Davidson, with honourable mention to Klefbom.

    7) The ruggedly handsome Big Sexy, a.k.a. Leon Draisaitl.

    8) Does the McTuft count? If not, Braden Holtby.

    9) Bruce Boudreau, for managing to get fired despite four straight division titles.

    10) Any trade proposal involving Connor McDavid.

    11) The Flames and Canucks are still trash.

  • Explicit

    1) Least Most Valuable Player – Nazem Kadri. Leafs ppl seem to love him but to me he’s Sam Gagner 2.0

    2) The Devan Dubnyk Most Likely to Rebound Award – Ales Hemsky, I hope. Loved watching that guy hockey

    3) Unsung Hero – Olli Maata

    4) most punchable face – Glen Healy

    5) least likely to be seen again – Anders Nilsson

    6) most improved – Evgeny Kuznetsov

    7) most kissable – Viona Harrer

    8) best facial hair – THE NUGE!!!

    9) coach of the year – Mike Sullivan

    10) blunder of the year – paying to go watch an oiler game

    11) silver lining – atleast Nikitin isn’t going to win the cup

  • madjam

    1.Ference 2.Clarkson , 3.Hendriks , 4.Ovechkin , 5. Still Voynov , 6.Kane ,7. Nuge ,8.Thornton, 9.Deboer , 10. Expecting the Oilers to be a playoff team , 11. The hope that things will get better for the Oilers .

  • I'm too tall for this @#$%

    1 Least Most Valuable Player – Francois Beauchemin

    2 Most Likely to Rebound – Tomas Hertl

    3 Unsung Hero – Anton Lander

    4 Most Punchable Face – Brandon Gallagher

    5 Least Likely to be Seen Again – Marcobello

    6 The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved – Blake Wheeler

    7 Most Kissable – Big Joe’s Beard

    8 Best Facial Hair – Big Joe’s Beard

    9 Coach of the Year – Boudreau is a beauty!

    10 Blunder of the Year – Nail Yakupov’s usage/Nail Yakupov’s performance. There’s so much blame to go around that you couldn’t get enough storage systems from Ikea to hold it all

    11 the Silver Lining Award – The new barn is going to have edible food!

  • Britts94

    1) Washington Capitals centres in the playoffs. Kuznetsov and Backstorm were invisible.
    2) Yakupov
    3) Brandon Davidson
    4) Alex Burrows
    5) Teemu Hartikainen
    6) Brad Marchand
    7) Connor
    8) Big Joe
    9) Mike Sullivan
    10) The Leafs trading Phil the Thrill last summer.
    11) #FarewellRecallPlace. I’ll love that old barn forever and always but by the end, sadly she was the worst rink in the league. Bring on big seats and an even bigger jumbotron!

  • Harry2

    1) Alex Burrows
    2) Lucic (70pt season upcoming flanking McD)
    3) Andrew Shaw
    4) Brendan Gallagher (Kesler honorable mention)
    5) Ben Scrivens
    6) Holtby
    7) MacT for being so beyond terrible at his job that he landed is McD
    8) Big Joe Thornton
    9) Trotz
    10) Schultz disgraceful play blunder after blunder game after game
    11) Peter Chiarelli’s inevitable roster changes

  • toprightcorner

    1) Eric Stall

    2) Rick Nash

    3) Vlasic

    4) Gaudreau

    5) Raffi Torres

    6) Duchene

    7) Lunqvist

    8) Jumbo Joe Thornton

    9) Trotz

    10) Bennings entire existence last season 5th rounder for Larsen?? $4.375 for Sutter?? $2.65 for Dorsett?? Can’t trade any UFA’s at deadline, not even Vrabata?? Actually I changed my mind to Trevor Linden not only has he not fired Benning but he strongly supported him at end of season presser.

    11) Benning is still employed so instant trade partner for Korpokoski

  • 2Oilers4

    1)Nazim Kadri, how is this guy still in the NHL, why does Toronto love him so much?

    2)Nuge, he will come back with a huge year.

    3)Rust, he has been stellar all playoffs.

    4)Zack Kassian, and that’s a good thing for us.

    5)Lander, sorry Jeanshorts.

    6)Draisaitl, and he will get even better next season.

    7)Connor, who else, kid is a stud. I’m in love.

    8)Thorton, I almost went with Burns, but Thorton’s is so much more luxurious.

    9)Mike Sullivan, Peguins in the final because of him.

    10)All the goals from the blueline out. Seriously, there were like 100 of them this season.

    11)No more Shultz? also, Shultz close to having his name on the cup. But the real answer forever and ever is and shall be McDavid. Have I mentioned I’m in love with him?

  • cmandev77

    1 Least Most Valuable Player – Dave Boland

    2 Most Likely to Rebound – Nail Yakupov (on a different team)

    3 Unsung Hero – Martin Jones

    4 Most Punchable Face – Evander Kane

    5 Least Likely to be Seen Again – Alexander Semin

    6 The “6 or 7 passes” Award for Most Improved – Patrice Bergeron

    7 Most Kissable – Brent Burns

    8 Best Facial Hair – Big Joe’s Beard

    9 Coach of the Year – Mike Sullivan

    10 Blunder of the Year – Whatever was going on in the locker room for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first half of the year!

    11 the Silver Lining Award – Tkachuks value has never been higher! Let’s get a #1 defenseman