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November 25, 2014

Trophy Renaming Alternative

Recently Pierre Lebrun and others supported Colin Campbell's idea of renaming the NHL trophies after more modern historical figures. The Hart Trophy to become the Wayne Gretzky Trophy? The Norris Trophy to become the Bobby Orr Trophy?

I vehemently opposed the idea in a well received article where I asked "so what will we rename the Stanley Cup?" Because that would be insanely sacrilegious. And so, too, is renaming the NHL awards.

So here's my alternative proposal. 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 
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

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