Monday, June 14, 2004


The 2004 Jesse Awards for De-Excellence

While the NHL gives out awards and accolades based on achievements in excellence, the true �losers� of the NHL never quite get their due.

Thus, the Jesse Awards for De-Excellence will give praise to the �Best of the Worst�.

The best part? The Jesse Awards are CBA-free. Any reporter caught asking questions regarding the labour talks will be subject to a severe, public tongue-spanking by former Canucks GM Brian �Cuddles� Burke .

Enough with the small-talk, let�s hand out some �software�:

The Human Resources and Development Canada� Least Valuable Player Award - Given to the player that gives the least amount of bang for the buck, just like the Department of Human Resources and Development of Canada.

Winner: Tommy Salo, Edmonton/Colorado - According to Daryl Shilling�s Goaltender Ratings, �Tommy Salo was by far the worst one to play so many games. The Oilers hung onto Salo till the last, desperate end, ultimately holding the club back. Salo, and his being played ahead of Conklin is the reason that the Edmonton Oilers didn't make the playoffs. Either coach MacTavish just couldn't see it, or was told to play him. Either way, it was a horrible decision, one which cost the Oilers extra home dates and playoff money. For shame!�

For the $3.5million the Oilers spent on Salo, they ended up getting a net deficit, rather than a net benefit. I cannot think of another player that hurt their team�s chances to win more than Salo. Thus, he gave the least benefit for the big bucks he �earned�. Note to GM�s, just because you pay a player millions, doesn�t mean you should force yourself to use that asset to your detriment. Sunk costs happen, to take a hit and move on.

Runner up: Brian "Mr. October" Savage, Coyotes/Blues - For his $3.25million, he produced a whopping 16 goals and 32 points in 74 games, while providing no physical presence and horrible defensive coverage. In his infinite wisdom, Blues GM Larry Pleau saw fit to acquire Savage for the stretch run, which was just as brilliant as his previous late season moves for guys such as Stephane Richer, Dave Ellett, and Derek King. Savage edged out Roman Turek, who at least played well in his role as a backup, and provided the �timely� injury that led to the acquisition of Mikka Kiprusoff.

The Marty McSorely Award for Bone-Headed Decision Making - Given to the player who made the worst decision during the course of the season.

Winner: Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver - With his selfish attack-from-behind sucker punch of Colorado�s Steve Moore, Bertuzzi ended up costing himself and his teammates a semi-legitimate chance at the Stanley Cup. There was absolutely no rhyme or reason for his sudden lack of control, and now he may face a civil suit, as well as his loss of a World Cup spot on Team Canada.

The fans at GM Place also share in this award, as they had the gall to give Bertuzzi a standing ovation when he returned for an appearance after the attack. Why the hell would you ever support his actions? Bertuzzi just cost �your� team a good chance at the Stanley Cup, and Bertuzzi should have been subject to a rousing chorus of boos.

Runner Up: Marian Gaborik, Minnesota Mild - So, Gaborik had a couple of good seasons and decided he was worth millions and millions of Benjamins. 3 agents about 20 missed games later, Gaborik ended up with the same amount of money that the Wild offered in the first place, less the pay from the first few weeks that he missed.

In the end, it was a lose-lose situation as Gaborik had a horrible season, and the Wild ended up missing the playoffs in large part thanks to this situation.

The Craig Janney Award for Defensive Indifference - Given to the NHL�s worst defensive forward.

Winner: Konstantin Kolstov, Pittsburgh - While team-mate Rico Fata had the (un)fortune to finish the season with the leagues worst +/- or -46, at least Fata was spending a lot of time on the ice against the opposition�s better scorers.

Koltsov, on the other hand, was never asked to kill penalties, nor was he on the ice much against top offensive players. The Russian Speedster was focused mainly on offense, and his -30 rating is also quite telling in his contribution to the Penguins troubles. Pavel Bure would be proud of Koltsov�s defensive indifference.

Runner Up: Rick Nash, Columbus - With his 41 goals, some questioned how the young Power Forward could be left off of Team Canada for the World Cup. Looking at his -35 rating, and watching him play quite a few times, I could see that Nash is far too offensive minded to be placed in a tournament situation. Nash forechecks with vigour and drives to the net well, but he sacrifices his defensive duties in order to do so. He�s a great young player, but this past season, he was just awful in his own end.

The Rob Ray "Iron Hands" Award - Given to the forward and the defenseman that provide the least amount of offensive contribution to their team.

Winner, Forward Division: Kelly Buchberger, Pittsburgh - It was bad enough that they counted on this guy to be a primary defensive forward, but they also suffered with his total lack of offensive contribution. In 71 games, and with regular ice time, Buchberger provided a paltry 1 goal and 3 assists. Even if Buchberger was the league�s best defensive forward (and he�s not even close), 4 points would not be enough to justify a roster spot given that much ice time invested.

Winner, Defenseman Division: Scott Lachance, Columbus - The Vancouver Canucks heartily thank Jackets GM Doug MacLean for taking Lachance far away from Vancouver.
In his 138 games as a Jacket, Lachance has 0 goals and 5 assists, including 0 for 77 this past season. You would think a 4th overall pick (1991) would be able to provide at least 10 points of offense a season, even accidentally.

The Al Strachan Award for Journalistic Quality Control - Given to the publication or journalist that achieves de-excellence in quality control.

Winner: The Tampa Tribune - Unless you live in a cave, then you already know about this Tampa Bay Tribune editorial, stating that the Bolts had lost the Stanley Cup Finals. Wishful thinking by a disgruntled Flames fan working in Tampa Bay, perhaps?

The Bobby Clarke Award for "Goofy" Public Relations - Given to any member of an NHL staff that commits the worst PR gaffe.

Winner: Ken Hitchcock, Flyers - Well, what do you know? It�s Bobby�s coach, Fat Bastard himself.

Hitchcock�s quote about Lightning coach John Tortorella, "He's Italian, he's from Boston, and he's probably a Red Sox fan".

Ken Hitchcock will also receive a pair of cement shoes, courtesy of the Philly chapter of the Teamsters Union and a full DVD set of The Soprano�s, Season 3.

Congratulations to all of the winners (losers?) of the 2004 Jesse Awards for De-Excellence. Without losers like you, we�d never have anyone to make us laugh and feel better about ourselves.

I agree with all of those picks for award "losers".

However, I am dissapointed that you picked on Konstantin Koltsov for his lack of defence. I talked to his coach when he was in Wilkes-Barre and confirmed that he was just too fast a skater for any skills with the stick to work in. He's going to be good, just be patient, as most of Pittsburgh is forced to.

Why not a goalie award for what Florida goalie Roberto Luongo accomplished. How many players get to say that there's a special rule in the books because of them? I don't know why people are so high on Luongo when he was using bigger pads than everybody else!

All in all.. good work
Well Koltsov may be a good player down the line, and I'd expect him to be so, but his defensive play last year wasn't anything to be excited about. I am basing the awards on performance, but projections or favourites :)

Also, it's to Luongo's benefit to use big pads...I mean, most goalies already do.

The real loser is Colin Campbell for not enforcing rules and standards (Shocking, I know). Luongo, if he's getting aided by huge pads, is simply boosting his own performance and that's a good thing for him and his team.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?