It's time for the "Re-View" awards for the 2009 Predators hockey season, a (somewhat) lighthearted look back on the season that was. Without further ado, here are the 2009 "Re-View" awards and the winners:
WAIT, THE SEASON STARTS WHEN? Award
The 2008-09 Nashville Predators. After a lackluster sub-500 season at the All Star break, the team caught fire and finished the season 20-11-5 to get to the brink of the playoffs. The Pred nation will spend the summer wondering "what if...?" we had won a couple of those early season games.
YOU CAN'T BE A GOALTEN ER WITHOUT THE D Award
To Dan Ellis. Dan was victimized on numerous occasions by a porous D in front of him, and it was reflected in his GAA and his win totals. Granted, Danny could have played better in spots, but at times it looked as if our D expected him to clean up every mistake on the ice.
FRIENDLY FIRE Award
To Shea Weber. No doubt that Webs has a rocket shot from the blue line. Ask Marty Erat.
BEST DANCE PARTNER Award
This one was close, and I have to give props to both the finalists, but the winner is Wade Belak. Jordin Tootoo made his case all year long, showing not only a willingness and deftness when he dropped the gloves but courage as well, but Wade Belak emerged as a quietly efficient enforcer for the Preds. That quietness disappeared when a wicked left from Belak felled one of the NHL's storied fighters in Donald Brashear. Honorable mention goes to Shea Weber, especially for the pounding he gave Andreas Lilja.
BLOOD OUT OF A TURNIP Award
The Preds coaching staff, Barry Trotz accepting. Barry will probably not even be a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, given by the NHL to the Coach of the Year, and that is an injustice. Trotzy and this staff do more with less than any other team in the NHL. He has done a masterful job of squeezing everything out of his talent possible, and the team bought into his credo of "Shut up and play" in the second half of the season.
I DON'T THINK I'M IN KANSAS ANYMORE Award
To Scott Nichol. After a brutal (and uncalled) shot to the head against Vancouver, Scooter was absent the ice for the next 38 games. The severity of his concussion is evidenced by the number of games he missed. The team missed his energy and his presence in the locker room.
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH Award
To Joel Ward. Wardo is such a great story this past season- signed to a tryout contract, he was a major contributor to the Preds, recording 35 points (17G, 18A) and emerged as a physical presence. Hopefully, the Preds can re-sign him in the offseason.
Tie. Steve Sullivan and Trace Kimmler. Sully battled back after missing two years due to a severe back injury to become a major contributor both on and off the ice to the Preds playoff push. Trace Kimmler is courageously fighting a rare form of cancer, and has shown a remarkable spirit that belies his 13 years on this earth. Both of these individuals have personified heart. And Courage.
There you have it, the first annual "Re-View" awards. Next year, the View is planning to post his year end awards long after the playoffs.