C'mon, admit it: The messy, boozy, Vegas vibe of the 2010 NHL Awards was a vast improvement over recent unwatchable installments of the summertime time-waster, wasn't it?
We'll have Puck Daddy awards for the Awards on Thursday morning, but the focus now is on the winners with the hardware and the losers who have
nothing but a Mark Messier Leadership Award next year to think about.
Coming up, the vote totals for all the major awards and the Lady Byng. Find out the margins on victory, the votes thrown away by media members to their friends, and how we probably cost Ryan Kesler(notes) the Selke.
First up, the Hart Trophy for league MVP, voted on by the media:
Obviously, this award, won by Henrik Sedin(notes) of the Vancouver Canucks, was a five-horse race; with Ryan Miller(notes) and Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) either sharing the goalie vote or getting snubbed because they're goalies. Tight margin between Sedin and Ovechkin, with Sidney Crosby(notes) the third choice.
Frustrating night for Sid: Losing the Hart, losing the NHLPA-voted Lindsay to Ovechkin and then having to get this close to his arch rival in the NHL's new nominee lineup formation:
After the big five, then it just gets wacky: Steven Stamkos(notes) of the 12th-place Tampa Bay Lightning? Mike Green(notes) of the Washington Capitals? We're sorry: Did Zdeno Chara(notes) actually receive a fourth-place vote in a season that saw the Bruins plummet from the top of the conference like a meteor?
Small surprise with the Norris, voted on by the media, in that Drew Doughty(notes) of the Los Angeles Kings didn't get second behind Duncan Keith(notes) of the Chicago Blackhawks. Maybe Mike Green is finally working his way out of "you don't play defense" purgatory.
The rookie of the year, voted on by the media, went to Tyler Myers(notes) of the Buffalo Sabres in a rout. Jimmy Howard(notes) of the Detroit Red Wings was reviving the team from the playoff bubble when this vote was cast, so no shock he edged Matt Duchene(notes) for the silver.
Earlier in Awards day, we interviewed Ryan Kesler and were forced to reveal that our vote went to Pavel Datsyuk(notes) of the Detroit Red Wings for best defensive player. And now we feel just awful about it looking at the margin of victory for Dats. Although we're happy our second-place vote propelled Patrice Bergeron(notes) to the fifth spot.
This award is always filled with weird voting oddities. Rod Brind'Amour(notes), in one of his worst seasons as a pro, gets a fifth-place vote? Alex Ovechkin(notes) gets a first place vote for the Selke? We'd love to hear who cast that one.
Voted on by NHL broadcasters; the two first-place votes Mike Babcock received by coaching the Canadian Olympic team to gold (c'mon, you know it's true) prevented a clean sweep by Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes.
The additions of Claude Julien and Paul Maurice anywhere on this list make us believe some voters simply took last year's ballot and reversed it.
Finally, the most important award of the evening: The Lady Byng for gentlemanly play, voted on by the media and given to Marty St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It would appear half the league received at least a vote for the award, including Johan Hedberg(notes) (!) and Sidney Crosby (!!) and Zdeno Chara (!!!). But honestly, fellow Professional Hockey Writers: Not a single joke vote for Matt Cooke(notes)? Disappointed at that.