Initially I was going to boycott the NHL Awards show for not giving Henrik Lundqvist a nomination for Vezina but I ended up watching anyway. What a bland, boring broadcast of what should have been a fun celebration. The house band played benign jazz but it could just as well been Muzak. Sure the league is loathe to promote the individual over the team but, just as with the All Star Game, this should have been all about the personalities that make up our game. Some more thoughts:
*You couldn't tell the show was in Vegas. Get a lounge act, Elvis impersonator, comedy act, hell, a white tiger or two. Not Chaka Kahn. As an entertainment reporter said to me, 'wow, big get, if it was 20 years ago.'
*Comedy would have been huge as the audience looked like a bunch of bored, mildly annoyed people sitting in a lobby waiting for a job interview.
*Things were so boring that I was hoping Jerry Bruckheimer would announce his intention to bring a team to Vegas while he was on-stage. At least then we would have something to talk about.
*And it looked terrible. Versus, or whoever produced it on site, had trouble balancing the bright colours and most shots looked waaaayy too saturated. Plus, like the Versus game broadcasts, the directors made many questionable camera cuts. At one point when Jean Beliveau was on stage they picked an overhead shot that looked down - we weren't trying to decide if someone scored, we want to see how well respected the elder gentleman of the NHL is.
*On that note, why were there no identifier lower thirds? They splashed this ridiculous thing that covered two-thirds of the screen when the winner was about to speak but not once did they show something that IDed whoever that smug host was (not Roenick). And why was that guy shaking hands afterwards? Is he running for mayor?
*This should have been on the NHL Network instead of Versus, or Versus should have at least allotted more time for it. They could have done so much more with the broadcast, gotten into more detail. Tim Thomas' Vezina acceptance speech (my favourite moment in the show) was truly touching when you consider what he went through to get to the NHL. But how many people know that?
*I know that the players themselves don't get to keep the original trophies - they get those small replicas - but you don't get those good photo ops where the winners would hold those up. Everyone took their little toy and walked away.
*It was incredible seeing Vlad Konstantinov on stage. He should have helped give out the Norris - but I understand the Russian thing early on. I do wonder what was backstage that distracted him so that Igor had to keep getting his attention.
*While hearing Pavel Datsyuk's broken english is amusing, perhaps it would be better to allow him to do his speech in Russian with a translator - then it wouldn't be so awkward. The bilingual Julien did a nice job covering both bases.
*BOOOOOOOO BETTMAN BOOOOOOOOO. Someone had to do it and apparently the folks who paid $500 a ticket weren't about to. What a loathsome little man.
*Kelly Hrudy had problems reading the prompter and Mark Messier ignored it. Mess ... dude, that was terrible. The Captain looked ready to break into tears (of course) as he reflected upon his career and the cold medicine trophy he was about to give out.
*Did I miss it or did they not announce the first, second and all rookie teams on the broadcast? That should have been part of the ceremony - if it wasn't, that's a shame.
And yes, I think Hank got screwed for Vezina. Sure, he didn't deserve to win - that rightly went to Timmy - but he carried a terrible team into the playoffs. Steve Mason had a better defense in front of him and Nik Backstrom's entire team played defense. Hank had Wade Redden. Ah well, there is always next year ...