Friday, June 11, 2004

 

2004 NHL Award Winners and Losers

While I was rocking the world of Industry statistical analysis and formulae, the NHL dished out a few shiny mantle pieces; complete with very few surprises.

It appears that I didn�t miss anything to spectacular on the awards show, other than more of the same CBA rhetoric that we�ve heard for months. Couldn�t somebody say something new or less clich�d?

Anyway, here are your 2004 Award Winners:
Hart Memorial Trophy, MVP - Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Vezina Trophy, goaltender - Martin Brodeur, New Jersey
James Norris Memorial Trophy, defenseman - Scott Niedermayer, New Jersey
Calder Memorial Trophy, rookie - Andrew Raycroft, Boston
Frank J. Selke Trophy, defensive forward - Kris Draper, Detroit
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, most gentlemanly - Brad Richards, Tampa Bay
Jack Adams Award, coach - John Tortorella, Tampa Bay
King Clancy Trophy, humanitarian contribution to hockey - Jarome Iginla, Calgary
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey- Bryan Berard, Chicago
Art Ross Trophy, points scoring leader - Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Maurice Richard Trophy, goal-scoring leader - Rick Nash, Columbus, Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta, and Jarome Iginla, Calgary, 41 goals
William M. Jennings Trophy, goalies with fewest goals against, minimum 25 games - Martin Brodeur, New Jersey
Plus/Minus Award - Martin St. Louis, TBay & Marek Malik(!), Vancouver.

Honestly, I can�t say I�m surprised by any of the awards given out, but there were 2 things that pissed me off:

1. Martin Brodeur - Given the fact that it�s the NHL GM�s voting for this award, I�m not surprised that they made the poor choice. Given some of the awful business and personnel decisions made by NHL executives over the years, it�s no shock to me that they made, in my opinion, the wrong choice. Roberto Luongo was simply better than Brodeur last year, and is a better goaltender overall. Brodeur should thank his teammates for this award, since they won it for him.

2. Brad Richards � Lady Byng - It�s too bad that the writers simply voted for the player with the lowest PIM total, rather than the total combination of skill and sportsmanship. Sportsmanship doesn�t just entail not taking penalties, and this shouldn�t be an award simply for having the minimal PIM total.

Sure, Martin St. Louis already bagged the MVP, but he was the clear choice for the Lady Byng as well.
Why didn�t he win? Well, because, St. Louis had the gall to rack up 24 penalty minutes compared to Richard�s 12.

Can you seriously tell me that the difference between the two players� PIM totals (6 minor penalties over the course of a whole season), is enough to justify handing Brad Richards this award?

St. Louis was the clear choice as the league�s MVP, and the point production and overall game that St. Louis played is more than enough difference to cover the negative contribution of 6 minor penalties.

Really, is Martin St. Louis demonstrably worse as a �Sportsman� than Mr. Richards? Subjectively, I don�t know how you could say he was.

When it comes to an overall mix of Sportsmanship, low PIM total, and skill level, Martin St. Louis is clearly the best package of the 3. It�s a shame that the writers simply were too lazy and purely looked at whoever could take the least amount of penalties and score more than 50 points.

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Comments:
St. Louis deserves the Lady Bling Award...for all the hardware he took home.

Rock me! (skipshot)
 
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