The NHL Awards are being presented tonight, and although no Panthers are nominated for anything (save for Keith Ballard's blooper of the year), I'm here reporting for you, the loyal Miami Herald reader.
I mean, after all, the deal is being held in Las Vegas.
I will be keeping you updated on all the awards and celebrities hanging out as things go. The awards come on at 7 p.m. MT so check it out.
If nothing else, it's an excuse to turn on Versus again.
-- Jay Mohr, formerly of SNL and a few other projects, killed in his opening monologue. Mohr's targets included the Bruins, Capitals, Coyotes, Lindsay Lohan and the Jacksons. He left the Panthers alone.
Too easy, probably.-- Alex Ovechkin had won the NHL's two biggest individual awards in each of the past two seasons. It looked like the Washington Capitals star winger was going to sweep those awards for a third straight year.
Only Vancouver's Henrik Sedin got in the way.
Sedin became the first player in Vancouver's 40-year history to win the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards Show at the Palms Hotel.
Sedin garnered 894 total votes from the Professional Hockey Writers Association – beating Ovechkin by 50. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby finished third, followed by Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller and Phoenix keeper Ilya Bryzgalov.
Florida's Tomas Vokoun received a single fifth-place vote for the Hart, tying him for 23rd.
“It really means a lot. This is a great day,'' said Sedin, who led the league with 83 assists. Five of his career-high 29 goals were game-winners for the Canucks. “It's a strange feeling. I'm very proud of this.''
Ovechkin didn't leave the party empty handed however, as he won the Ted Lindsay Award – the players vote on the league's most outstanding player – for the third straight year. Ovechkin also joined Sedin on the NHL All-Star first team. Ovechkin became the first player since Wayne Gretzky to win the award three straight years and only the third player (Guy Lafleur) to ever do so.
The Buffalo Sabres were well represented at the awards show, with Miller winning the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie. Defenseman Tyler Myers won the Calder Trophy for top rookie.
Miller, who led Team USA to a silver medal in Vancouver earlier this year, had never won the Vezina before. Miller took 23 of the first place votes, beating out Phoenix's Ilya Bryzgalov who had five. Former Panthers goalie Craig Anderson finished fifth in the voting with two second place votes and three thirds.
Miller also received the NHL Foundation Award for his charitable work.
“Great company. I've looked up to those goaltenders,'' Miller said. “It's pretty amazing, all the history on this trophy. To get my name on it is pretty cool.''
Phoenix's Dave Tippett was honored as the league's top coach after leading the Coyotes into the playoffs despite the franchise's many off-ice distractions. Tippett beat out Nashville's Barry Trotz by a count of 291-60, getting all but two first place votes. Those went to Detroit's Mike Babcock.
“We were a team no one gave much of a chance to at the beginning of the season,'' Tippett said. “We used that as a motivating factor. We did a lot more than a lot of people thought, but in Phoenix, we just look at it as a beginning.''
Other winners included Chicago's Duncan Keith winning the Norris Trophy for being the top defenseman; Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis won the Lady Byng for gentlemanly conduct, and Phoenix's Shane Doan won the King Clancy Award for humanitarian contribution.