The 2008 Vincent Damphousse Award Winner: Jeff O’Neill

Every year around this time, you and your buddies gather and your local bar/pub/igloo (Canadians only) to conduct a fantasy draft.  Somewhere around 11 or 12, you’re left with a dilemma.  You could either roll the dice on a better player on a bad team (read: Nathan Horton, FLA), or a proven name who, well, did all of his proving on your Sega Genesis more than a decade ago.  This isn’t like fantasy baseball, where you may get lucky and get 180 innings out of an aging Mike Mussina or Randy Johnson.  This is hockey, damn it.  If you’re an old forward, you might as well buy a nice suit and start angling for plush assistant coaching positions with your current club.

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Gary Bettman: Great Commissioner? Or GREATEST COMMISSIONER EVER?

The NHL owners are conducting one of their periodic performance reviews of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Some observers speculate that, despite earning exceptional marks during his entire 15-year run, Bettman could be in for a rough ride this time around. Or not.

Craig Leipold: All right, everyone, take your seats please. It’s time to get this special meeting of the National Hockey League Robber Barons Owners Association started. Today’s sole agenda item: a resolution thanking Commissioner Gary Bettman for his years of dedicated service to the league.

Charles Wang: Does this mean we’re firing him?

Leipold: What? No. Why?

Wang: It’s just that sometimes you thank people for their service at the same time security is hauling them out the door. That’s what I did with Ted Nolan. It adds that personal touch, you know?

Leipold: Well, let the debate begin! The chair recognizes…himself! Continue reading

Another One?

Seriously?

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Spelling Bee 1, NHL 0

The key to throwing a good party is attention to detail.  You need to make sure that no one can call you out for something you had to rush because of time constraints.  Take Doritos for example.  If you serve Doritos at your party, that’s fine.  I won’t judge you.  Most people like Doritos.  But if you’ve based the success of your hors d’oeuvres on a bowl full of triangular chips that may or may not glow in the dark, they better as hell be Cool Ranch-flavored.  Discerning snack aficionados will notice.

Last night, it seemed that the NHL managed to get everything right.  The awards went to the most deserving players, the players managed to rent nice suits and tuxedos in time for their awkward entrances, and they even remembered to outfit lost-looking Canadian children with San Jose jerseys (like that’s a real place.) 

Speaking of which, a jersey is the ultimate tribute a fan can make in honor of their favorite player.  The NHL realizes this, and chose to honor each award recipient with both a shiny trophy and a kid donning the very sweater they wore whilst earning said shiny trophy.   Take Nicklas Lidst-SWEET CHRIST, DID I JUST SEE WHAT I THOUGHT I SAW?

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It’s an Honor Just to Be Patronized

(First off, do not underestimate the power of the live blog.  See the post below this for details.)

You have to love tonight’s Awards Show, or any award show for that matter.  All we’re doing is bestowing honors on people for being great at what they do for a living.  Here’s what you don’t realize – they already know they’re great.  They don’t need shiny pointy things to prove it.  So sure, you can celebrate their greatness, as well as the two also-rans who have to clap politely as the winners ascend that glorious staircase of achievement. 

Speaking of which, the process of releasing official nominees to the public seems unnecessary, no?  After all, the league is merely identifying the second and third best players at a respective skill.  It’s a little known fact that the NHL actually ranks ALL eligible players in each category from first to last.  They may only let us know the top three, but I assure the people of MYFO, they’ve got it itemized right down to the very worst player.

Today we celebrate those very worst players with the 1st Annual NHL Lasties, probably brought to you by Edge Shave Gel and those Creepy Jet Pack Girls who Fly Up Your Nose.

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Vote Eventually, Vote Occasionally

As a delightful distraction to actual NHL hockey being played, the league office has used the last few weeks to sporadically announce the finalists for each of the many shiny and pointy awards they hand out after each NHL season.  And for every honor of an MVP, a Best Positional Player, or stellar rookie, there’s an ambiguously-awarded piece of hardware just waiting to collapse someone’s mantle.  Today, in a feature that shalt be recurring only if we’re out of column ideas, we present to you the nominees for the Masterton Trophy.

Who wants a giant gold cone of frozen custard?  I sure as hell do.

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Mike Babcock’s Hockey Coaching Clinic

I don’t know who the hell Jack Adams was, but I know he would be proud to be associated with a brilliant coaching mind like mine. And no offense to the other finalists, but we all know this award belongs to me. At least I’ve heard of Carbonneau; who the blazes is this Bryce Boudoir? So, thanks in advance, NHL writers, for recognizing my genius. I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but here’s a few tips for my fellow, less gifted members of the NHL coaching fraternity. Feel free to take notes. Continue reading