Tonight is NHL Awards night!
Well, the Flames had a pretty bad season overall. Nobody on the 2015-16 edition of this team is going to win, say, the Vezina. Or anything, really – the only Flame up for an award is Mark Giordano who is, for the second year in a row, in the running for the NHL Foundation Award. That’s… pretty much it.
This lack of Flames representation will not stand. So we decided to take the typical NHL award categories, and vote various Flames to them. After all, they’re the only important team here.
There were basically two choices for this one: Johnny Gaudreau or T.J. Brodie. Both put up excellent cases, as Gaudreau led the Flames in scoring by 15 points – far and away ahead of everyone else – while dismaying opposing defences. He was the offence.
Brodie, meanwhile, played huge minutes and saved the Flames from themselves. The first nine games of the season were a dystopian look at what the Flames would look like without their often nationally underrated defenceman. It was terrifying. Here’s to Brodie never leaving us ever again.
Just like he does to the scoresheet, though, Gaudreau owned this category, receiving seven votes to Brodie’s two. Mark Giordano got mild consideration, but yeah, this one is Johnny Hockey’s.
Flames Lady Byng
Remember when Jiri Hudler won the actual Lady Byng last year and ran around without shoes on? It was easily the best part of the 2015 NHL Awards. We’re not going to top that in any capacity.
Although Hudler did get a vote for this year! Really, our Byng nominees were all over the place, with Jakub Nakladal, T.J. Brodie, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Brandon Bollig all receiving consideration. I do believe that last one was a joke vote, though.
But when you look at the Flames’ penalty minute record Brodie, Monahan, and Nakladal (extrapolating for an 82 game season) had the least, only clocking in at 18 each. And as was pointed out during the voting process: Brodie plays monster minutes, and still barely took any penalties. So maybe this award should be his.
With the vote being split so many ways, we can only hope the 2016-17 Flames also take few penalties and have many Lady Byng nominees.
Flames Vezina; hey, stop laughing
This was a doozy of a category. Votes included:
- Miikka Kiprusoff’s ghost
- The Ghost of Fred Brathwaite’s NHL career (or just Fred Brathwaite)
- The shooter tutor from practice
- The posts
- The crossbar
- The December version of Karri Ramo
- And I also tried to shoehorn Martin Jones in there, because he DID play for Calgary for four seasons.
But the award can only go to one. (Ignore the Lady Byng up above.) And here, the only fitting answer is Kris Russell, because he probably blocked more shots than everyone else combined.
Johnny Gaudreau was robbed last year and I’m still at least a little bitter about that.
With that said, Sam Bennett easily won this one. According to the voters, he is either 18, 19, or 20 years old. If only Jim Hughson were around to tell us.
Hunter Shinkaruk and, more importantly, that thing on his chin I presume he calls a beard got a special little shoutout. He’s got a head start for next season!
The ultimate showdown. Is it Mark Giordano, or is it T.J. Brodie? Who would you pick? Giordano really turned it on in the second half of the season, but once Brodie came back, the Flames were like a brand new team. And he was even a consideration for MVP, where Giordano wasn’t quite.
So Brodie won this vote, 4-3 – although I should mention two or three votes nominated the both of them.
What a nice problem to have. It sure would be cool if right-hand man Dougie Hamilton could join them next year.
The Masterton is kind of a depressing award, because usually, what resulted in the circumstances of you getting it aren’t always pleasant. Winners have ranged from overcoming awful real life tragedies, horrific hockey injuries, and having to play for the Edmonton Oilers.
Matt Stajan won our Masterton, and even from just a strictly hockey perspective, it’s fitting. He had to play a thankless job all season long, buried in the defensive zone so others could stand on his shoulders, and putting together the worst offensive season of his career to date. It couldn’t have been easy, but he did provide some tangible on-ice value to the club.
Other nominees included Mark Giordano, who came back from an awful bicep injury only to round back out into elite form; Johnny Gaudreau, who has told all of his doubters to kiss his ass with his on-ice play; Lance Bouma, who spent half the season on the shelf due to one fluke injury after another; and Ladislav Smid, who has had a really rough go of things health-wise the past few years.
Flames Jack Adams
Bob Hartley, then-Flames head coach, won the Jack Adams in 2015. He was fired under a year later. … Awkward?
We happily went all over the board with this one. I voted for Jordan Sigalet, not because he was the best or anything, but because he probably deserves something nice after the year that was. There were also votes for Brad Treliving (for firing Hartley), Joni Ortio’s water bottle (it was always there when he needed it), Cail MacLean (Adirondack’s head coach; they lost in the second round of the Kelly Cup playoffs), Bearcat, Hartley (he did the same things as last year, so logically…), and some abstaining.
The winner, though? Martin Gelinas. He didn’t get fired, which is an accomplishment in and of itself; also, he has cemented himself in Flames lore, so we’re willing to go with this.
You know what site you’re on, right? You know this is FlamesNation, correct?
Mikael Backlund. Unanimously. A vote for Pavel Datsyuk aside, which I assume he got because he just destroyed the Red Wings’ cap.
Flames GM of the Year
We did a Jack Adams, so we’ve got to recognize general managing, too! Even if Brad Treliving already got a Jack Adams vote.
And indeed, Treliving won, but only by the skin of his teeth. Brian Burke got some consideration for always being there to remind us about how important size is, and Don Sweeney got a crucial shoutout for showing us all how to get rid of uppity loner locker room cancers.
But the guy who gave Treliving the biggest run for his money was Jim Benning. This makes sense: all of us Flames fans are very grateful for the tireless work Mr. Benning puts in. Someone’s gotta be there for him, and our community is only happy to give him the praise he so deserves.
We came up with a couple of extra categories as well, because why not? Awards shows are a joke anyway. ESPECIALLY when the guy I’m rooting for doesn’t win. The Tonys are an exception though, because the Tonys are awesome.
Best Beard: My heart says Brodie, but my head says Bollig.
Most likely to actually be 12 years old: Can we REALLY trust Johnny?
He might be 12 and playing with a fake ID but he’s so good. pic.twitter.com/Js5RWcdKQT
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) April 3, 2016
The Gary Bettman Trophy (for generating the most billable legal hours): Dennis Wideman.
Best Ugly Christmas Sweater: Dougie Hamilton.
The Houdini Award (for magically vanishing): Mason Raymond.
The Mack Truck Award (for bone-crushing “irrelevancy”): Micheal Ferland.
The Walter Cronkite Trophy (for dispelling bad April fools jokes in a timely manner): Johnny Gaudreau. (Oh, this one’s so cute.)
Best Hamilton: … … … This is a Flames blog but my heart wants to say Alexander. He’s winning everything this year. Fortunately, next season Dougie should get a fresh start and the chance to get several more shots, especially on the powerplay.