We all know who the best players have been the best in the NHL in the 2010-11 season, but who have been some of the worst? Years ago, I created some “awards” in my old sim league (DCHL), as a semi roast to certain players, GMs and teams. I took some of these awards, and created some brand new ones.
First, we start with the Trigger Happy Award, which goes to the GM who has pulled off the most trades in the last year (for the purpose of a starting point, I used 2010′s regular season end to this regular season’s end). With 18 counted trades, including acquiring (and trading) Dennis Wideman, Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers is our 2011 winner. The other GM award, the aptly named You Suck Award goes to Ottawa’s Bryan Murray. Last summer, Murray signed Sergei Gonchar for 3 years and $16 million, and the 37 year old played like he was 57. The team plummeted to last place and Murray started the firesale, trying to get what he could for many players. Some of his deals were to rectify mistakes he had made in the summer, and in previous seasons. All this, while Daniel Alfredsson remained on the team and his value continued to drop.
Moving on to some statistical awards, the winner of the Broad Street Bully Award goes to Islander Zenon Kenopka, who blew away the field in the penalty minute department, finishing with 307. Kenopka is the first player to break the 300 PIM barrier since Dan Carcillo in 2007-08. The Greg Millen Trophy for allowing the most goals in the regular season goes to the Colorado Avalanche. The team allowed a whopping 287 goals, the most since the 06-07 Flyers. On the topic of goalies, our Red Light Award for worst goalie of the year (minimum of 20 games) is Rick DiPietro. DiPietro “lead” the league with a 3.44 GAA, had the second worst save percentage at 88.6% and finished with a record of 8-14-4.
The Bettman Trophy for Villain of the Year was no surprise. Suspended for 21 games this season within two separate incidents, including missing the entire first round of the playoffs, Matt Cooke easily wins the award.
The 2011 Charlestown Chiefs Award for nastiest game of the year goes to the Islanders/Penguins game in February. The two teams combined for 364 PIM, many game misconducts and left Penguin Eric Godard suspended for 10 games. Godard was suspended for leaving the bench to defend his goaltender Brent Johnson after Michael Haley challenged him to a fight. It was also the game where Trevor Gilles elbowed Eric Tangradi and taunted him while he was receiving medical attention. Speaking of the Islanders, they also won the team award presented by the Injury Ninja. The Injury Ninja, discovered in 2008 by our friend Mike Patota, is a mysterious figure who shatters the dreams of players and fans alike. With over 500 man games missed, the Islanders have won the trophy (which is shaped like a hockey player with a crutch instead of a stick.)
On a lighter note, the inaugural Biznasty Trophy for best hockey Twitter account goes to… Paul Bissonnette (surprise, huh?) Biznasty dominated the NHL twitter world for most of the year with an account boasting over 100,000 followers. However, with the emergence of many NHLers in the last few months, Biz’s trophy may be a challenge to defend next season.
We also have an answer to the NHL’s Bud Light Plus/Minus award, named the Pepto Bismol Minus/Minus Award (named such because the coach needs it when the award winner hits the ice). This year’s winner goes to Chris Phillips of the Senators, who finished with a dishonorable -35. This year introduces the Wolf Stansson Trophy, for collecting more teeth than goals. The Kings’ Kevin Westgarth is the winner, collecting 105 PIM, while failing to find the net in 56 games.
Often during the season, you will see trades that make you scratch your head. The Cheech & Chong Whatcha Smokin’ Award for most lopsided trade goes to the Avalanche and the Blues. The Blues got Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk and a 2nd rounder for Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a 1st rounder. Stewart put up 23 points in 26 games after being traded to the Blues, as he posted his 2nd 28 goal season in a row. Shattenkirk was named to the All-Star Rookie team this year. Johnson gives the Avs a tremendous presence on the blueline, but did they give up too much? Only time will tell, but as of now, it looks lopsided.
And last, and certainly least, is the Alexandre Daigle Trophy, for Least Valuable Player. The LVP goes to a player who was expected to contribute a lot to his team and failed to do so. A 65 point season is solid, but when you are expected to produce over 90 or 100, it is viewed as a failed season. Nicklas Backstrom of the Capitals is the 2011 Daigle Trophy winner.