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.
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
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!