The Hockey Magazine Sporting News made its choices for their own NHL Awards.
The SN conducted a vote among NHL players, coaches and executives to elect the player, the rookie, the coach, and the General Manager of the year. Please note that the scrutiny was realized before the playoffs, and players could not vote for their own team-mates.
General Manager of the year: Bob Gainey, Montreal Canadiens
All right, if you go to the magazine website, you will see a quote by one of the readers: "Bob Gainey executive of the year? He traded away his No. 1 goalie for a Snickers bar, forcing the team to go to a rookie net minder."
Now that the Habs are way out of the playoffs (even those who eliminated them are not in anymore!), it does make sense, but judging from their regular season record only, Bob Gainey may be the gutsiest GM we could hear of this last season with the Huet trade.
The Montreal Canadiens head has got 12 of the 28 votes by the other executives.
Somehow, I wish Penguins Ray Chero got the votes. The guy took the risk to trade away Crosby's close friend Colby Armstrong, along with other youngsters Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a first round pick for Marian Hossa. Well, now, we don't know where Hossa will finally end by July 1st, but till then, the Penguins may have become the 2008 Stanley Cup champions.
I kind of have a thought for Doug Wilson and the Brian Campbell trade as well.
Coach of the Year: Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings
He got six of the 18 votes of the others NHL coaches, that is one more than Montreal Guy Carbonneau. Well, there is no wonder if we look at where the team was at the end of the regular season, and even now. All Star Western Team head coach this season, for a third year in a row, he brought his team to the Western Conference first spot. More, they could hold on to it!
He is also four wins away from the ultimate award, already clinching the President's trophy.
With all the admiration and the respect I have for Babcock, I would have voted for Montreal Guy Carbonneau.
Wait, hold on, it is not because I am a Montreal fan. Please, don't start on it! But just take a look, the Habs are the only team in the NHL that haven't been through more than three loses in a row. And well, you may have heard of it, he brought the team to the first spot in the East.
Player of the year: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals.
Is there more to say?
Rookie of the year: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
The 19-year-old phenom got 110 of the 287 votes by the NHL players. I would have voted for him too.
For Backstrom, being Ovechkin's line-mate certainly helps in a matter of statistics. And Toews, unfortunately his injury may have taken him away from a potential best rookie contention. Still, all three of them truly amaze me ...
What? Carey Price? Mmm... maybe not. Not enough games in Montreal, as he started the season as the backup goalie.
All right, the Sporting News gave us their results. What do you think? If you were invited to vote for your favorite of the year, who would it be? Tell me.