The annual NHL Awards Show and presentation will be held in Las Vegas on June 18th at the Palms Resort, and Predators and hockey blogger Buddy Oakes of Preds On The Glass will be attending and providing coverage of this glamorous event. Awards such as the Lady Byng (Sportsmanship), Hart (MVP), Calder (Rookie of the Year) and others will be handed out. The Predators own Steve Sullivan is a finalist for the Masterson Trophy, awarded to the player that best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. While these awards garner the attention of fans and the press, an award was handed out today that will not make the mainstream of the NHL's annual awards, but one that is vivid in the minds of Predator fans. Today, Hockeyfights.com handed out their awards, and the Joey Kocur KO or TKO of the Year award was given to our own Wade Belak for his March 10th punch out of Donald Brashear of the Washington Capitals. Brashear is renowned for his toughness and fighting skills, and when the two enforcers squared off, I thought Belak was at a disadvantage, but a monstrous left from Belak felled Brashear with one punch.
We will not get into a discussion of fighting and its merits, or lack thereof, right now. Suffice it to say, Wade Belak, who was gaining a reputation as an efficient enforcer, made the hockey world sit up and take notice of his skills. Although we will not hear this award mentioned on June 18th, congratulations to Wade Belak for a job well done.