Last year the NHL Awards Show from the Palms in Las Vegas provided us with the most miserable, horrible, silly, inane and wretched performances in the history of performances when Chaka Khan and Robin Thicke took the stage at different times to warble. I wanted to throw a thunderous bodycheck at my television. Take a chainsaw to Thicke’s hairdo. Slice both their vocal chords with a skate blade.
But maybe Thicke and the chick were the perfect choices – tremendously mediocre – like these NHL awards nights usually are. Instead of these two overpaid at any price ear-damagers, they should have just kept the camera on Evgeny Malkin’s trashy-looking blond bombshell in the audience. The one who looked like she had other things on her mind, like ripping off her blouse and grabbing Evgeny’s stick and pucks.
And she was sitting almost beside Jean Beliveau’s wife Elise to complicate things even more.
It’s the old “who you know.’ Instead of the league, which is worth billions, going out and getting some real talent, they chose the son of Allan Thicke who happens to be a big buddy of Wayne Gretzky.
And have the organizers learned anything from the lousy entertainment? This year we get Snoop Dogg and Shinedown.
Although to be fair, the Goo Goo Dolls are apparently scheduled to play and that’s much better than a thousand Robin Thicke’s.
Anyway, here’s why the Palms is the place to be in Vegas right now if you’ve had your fill of Wayne Newton.
AWARDS AND FINALISTS
Art Ross Trophy (League’s leading scorer): Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks.
Bill Masterton Trophy (Perseverance, sportsmanship & dedication to hockey): Kurtis Foster, Tampa Bay Lightning; Jed Ortmeyer, San Jose Sharks; Jose Theodore, Washington Capitals.
Calder Trophy (Outstanding rookie): Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche; Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings; Tyler Myers, Buffalo Sabres.
Frank J. Selke Trophy (Forward who excels in defensive play): Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks; Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hart Trophy (Most valuable player to his team): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals; Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks.
Jack Adams Award (Outstanding coach): Joe Sacco, Colorado Avalanche; Dave Tippett, Phoenix Coyotes; Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators.
James Norris Trophy (Outstanding all-around defenseman): Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Mike Green, Washington Capitals; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks.
King Clancy Trophy (Leadership qualities on and off the ice): Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes.
Lady Byng Trophy (Sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct): Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Brad Richards, Dallas Stars; Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Ted Lindsay Award (Most outstanding player selected by the NHLPA): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals; Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks.
Maurice Richard Trophy (Regular season goal scoring leader): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning.
Vezina Trophy (Outstanding goaltender): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Ilya Bryzgalov, Phoenix Coyotes; Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres.
William M. Jennings Trophy (Goaltender on club with fewest goals against): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils.
Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP): Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks.
NHL General Manager of the Year Award: Don Maloney, Phoenix Coyotes (Winner); George McPhee, Washington Capitals; David Poile, Nashville Predators.
Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes; Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres.
NHL Foundation Player Award: Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings; Mike Green, Washington Capitals; Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres.
Presidents’ Trophy (Club with most points in regular season): Washington Capitals.
Prince of Wales Trophy (Eastern Conference Playoff Champion): Philadelphia Flyers.
Clarence Campbell Bowl (Western Conference Playoff Champion): Chicago Blackhawks