Jun 23, 2011

NHL Awards: Missing the Wide-Open Net

The NHL Awards took place last night. On a night where the glitz, glam and fashion statements (read Kevin Smith Jersey and Jorts) come out, it was probably the worst awards show I've witnessed. If you missed it - you can check it out here but you don't have to.

The best and worst of the 2011 NHL AwardsTo begin, the duration of the red carpet was 2 hours...I had no idea the NHL Awards were close competition to the Oscars?
Jay Mohr, who I actually (normally) enjoy, botched his emcee duties.
Drying paint got bored of his jokes. His spoof of 24/7, called 24/6 (Hilarious duplication! Get it!? 24/6 not 24/7) was not funny.

Jon Hamm put you to shame, sir, even though he loves the Blues.

Who invited Dierks Bentley? I still don't know who he is and I was watching.

Historically, the NHL Awards are an opportunity to reward the players who have stood out in the league and made a difference in their communities. It is a PR dream to showcase the highlights that individuals have played throughout the season, on and off the ice. This is the one chance that the NHL can finally say that they are doing good in the community as well as fuel the egos of the young stars who performed particularly well. They tried, but unfortunately, the award show turned out mundane.

I ask an important question: How can you fail to mention the important people that passed away this year, some of which had a major impact on the NHL?

Derek Boogard became the first player in NHL history to die of concussion complications in the millennium of 'increased player safety'. Pat Burns, one of the most influential coaches ever, wasn't credited.

And what was with the American patriotism. I'm all for American Troops and what not, but seriously, it's also a Canadian game. Where were the mounties presenting awards? It seemed to me that despite the Ryan VS Ryan segment, the awards missed that point that hockey is truly Canadian.

I thought Tim Thomas's mustache was going to get up off his face and beat up Luongo and Schneider during the William Jennings (award for least goals against in the regular season).

In terms of acceptance speeches, here's a note for players: PRACTICE YOUR SPEECH! How can Jeff Skinner go up to the podium, attempt to wing it and have no clue what to say. If he didn't say 'uhhh' after every word it wouldn't have been the worst acceptance speech. Zeppelin were upset with how much he rambled on. Ok, bad joke but seriously Jeff, you're a rookie; you need to show that you're serious and professional about your job (that DOES include public speaking by the way).

So to Jeff Skinner and Corey Perry: You need media training. You need Trill PR.

Despite a decent award night for Daniel Sedin, seeing this photo made me smirk a little bit more:

So after all the mentions of hot topics: the Vancouver riot (Mohr said Vancouver is the marijuana capital of the planet - I say Amsterdam), Canada getting a new team (Atlanta was the butt of all jokes), the booing of Bettman at the Cup presentation (round of applause?), concussion syndrome a la NHL Poster Boy Sidney Crosby and many others (uncomfortable silence); the NHL awards and Gary Bettman failed to clean up the messy loose ends that will undoubtedly tie-up the off-season, full with drama and speculation.

One thumb up for Alex Burrows, who showed enjoyment after being insulted.


  1. I just stumbled upon this by chance, and I agree with most of the things you said. But I thought your comments about Skinner were really harsh. You do realize he's only 19 right? He was really nervous, that was pretty obvious. I don't know a whole lot about him, but from what I have heard about him it sounds like he's just a really shy person in general. That's my opinion anyway. But other than that I totally agree with you, the NHL awards was really bad this year.