April 01, 2010

Trophy Revamp?

We are nearing the end of the NHL's regular season, which means, amongst other things, members of the media (and in some cases managers and players) will be soon voting on the NHL regular season trophy winners. The top three vote-getters will later be announced as the official nominees for the various awards.

Mention of NHL awards often brings several issues to the spotlight, from Eastern voting biases to the renaming of the trophies after more contemporary players.

Here's what I think the NHL should do: Instead of having three nominees, have an Eastern and Western winner. Those two players would each win a new trophy, named after hockey legends. The two players would also be the nominees for the league-wide award, which would continue to be the trophies we have always used.

There are several benefits to this:
  • All new trophies, honoring the game's greatest names, from Gretzky to Orr, from Beliveau to Plante.
  • A great way to honor more players in today's game.
  • The historical trophies continue to be at the forefront of the game. There is no disrespecting the game's history. Renaming trophies is a terrible idea. You wouldn't rename the Stanley Cup, would you?
  • Eliminating regional biases. Eastern voters could vote on Eastern players, and Western voters on Western players. The league wide awards could then be decided upon by a smaller committee of media or by NHL general managers.
  • Create more rivalries between the West and the East.
So how about a few suggestions as to how you think the proposed Western and Eastern NHL awards should named. My suggestions are below. Tell me your suggestions in the comments section, by email or on Twitter @HockeyLegends

Most Valuable Player
NHL - Hart Memorial Trophy
West - Wayne Gretzky Trophy
East - Mario Lemieux Trophy

NHL Leading Scorer
NHL - Art Ross Trophy
West - Gordie Howe Trophy
East - Jean Beliveau Trophy

NHL Leading Goal Scorer
NHL - Rocket Richard Trophy
West - Bobby Hull Trophy
East - Phil Esposito Trophy

Best Player as voted by NHLPA peers

NHL - Ted Lindsay Trophy (renamed Pearson Award)
West - Steve Yzerman Trophy
East - Stan Mikita Trophy

Best Defenseman

NHL - Norris Trophy
West - Doug Harvey Trophy
East - Bobby Orr Trophy

Best Goaltender
NHL - Vezina Trophy
West - Terry Sawchuk Trophy
East - Jacques Plante Trophy

Best Defensive Forward
NHL - Selke Trophy
West - Dave Keon Trophy
East - Bob Gainey Trophy

Best Rookie
NHL - Calder Trophy
West - Teemu Selanne Trophy
East - Mike Bossy Trophy

Best Coach
NHL - Jack Adams Award
West - Scotty Bowman Award
East - Al Arbour Award

Most Gentlemanly Player

NHL - Lady Byng Trophy
West - Frank Nighbor Trophy
East - Frank Boucher Trophy

Playoff MVP
NHL - Conn Smythe Trophy
West - Teeder Kennedy Trophy
East - Patrick Roy Trophy


Anonymous said...

Teemu Selanne trophy. LOVE THAT! Like your idea!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea in theory, but your application leaves me uninspired. I would say 2 things; First the trophies should be one name only, probably the last name. And second, I don't know about naming them after still vibrant figures, seems like it should honor players (or coaches) in the twilight or dead.

Anonymous said...


other than the fact that is well NEVER happen...

Yzerman won 1 Pearson and you want to name it after him?! What about Messier? He won 2

Messier has to have a trophy named after him

Red Army Line said...

Messier has the Mark Messier Leadership Award or whatever--you must've seen stories on the voting on nhl.com

J.D. Nahel said...

I like this. I don't care what the names are but the trophies need revamp badly. I like your rivalry idea and I would also choose to have two trophies for defensemen: Bobby Orr trophy for offensive defensemen and Whatever trophy for defensive defensemen.