Friday, June 19, 2009


Jean Beliveau won the lifetime achievement award at last night's NHL awards. (Photo taken from Yahoo! News / REUTERS / Mike Blake)

Does anyone else find it weird that when watching the NHL awards last night, Sidney Crosby was nowhere to be seen?

So much has been made of the handshake snub involving Sid and Detroit captain Nick Lidstrom, and many hockey columnists were suggesting they would meet at the awards and Sid would have a chance to apologize. Yet, seemingly he wasn’t even present. There is a chance that he was there and that I just missed him, but generally when Sidney Crosby is at an NHL event, the focus is on him. Malkin and Talbot were the ones to bring in the cup, an honour which is usually bestowed upon the captain of the Stanley Cup winning team, and Malkin didn’t even have a chance to bring in his Conne Smythe! Sid's absence left a big hole...

Other than that, I think the awards were a lot better than previous years, although I could have probably done without the Chaka Khan numbers... The players seemed to really enjoy themselves and laughed quite a bit. My favourite line of the evening came from none other than Alexander the Great, something to the effect of “Don’t worry Geno, at least your English is better than Pavel’s”. Datsyuk’s half-glare half-smile was priceless.

Chara came in a close second for the funniest remark, when he thanked his wife for listening to him complain all the time after games. I saw a softer side of him I hadn’t seen before, and I really think he is one of those players whose personality is completely different on and off the ice. On the ice: huge hard-checking defenseman. Off the ice: the BFG.

As for fellow Bruin Tim Thomas, his Vezina speech was quite moving and he got the crowd laughing when he said he was more worried about getting his name on a roster than on the nominee list for the Vezina. He really has come a long way and I think that no matter which team you’re a fan of, his win brought tears to your eyes.

As much as I liked having the awards in Canada in previous years, I think that Vegas had a certain appeal and that Michael BublĂ© trumped Ron McLean in terms of hosting ability (at least his jokes weren’t cringe-worthy), and that they should ask him back next year. I’d love for them to come to MontrĂ©al but I doubt that’ll happen for a while.

Speaking of a while, it’s hard to believe that another hockey season has come and gone. They seem to go faster with each passing year, and as much as I love the summer, I don’t mind when it ends because I know I have something to look forward to come September. Let’s hope this offseason brings lots of rest for the players and that they come back refreshed for training camp to start this emotional rollercoaster once again. By this time next year a new team will be raising the cup over their heads, feeling joy unlike anything felt before. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!

Have a great summer everyone!