Travesty of Justice! Presidents’ Trophy Rangers shut out at NHL Awards
How can this happen? The best team in the regular season, last year’s Stanley Cup runner-up and Eastern Conference Finalists 3 out of the last 4 years won 0 awards last night in Vegas.
Alain Vigneault and Glen Sather were shut out for the Coach and GM of the year awards. The Calgary Flames’ Bob Hartley and Tampa Bay Lightning Steve Yzerman took home the honors and I have to question those who vote and their line of thinking.
Glen Sather has put together one of the most consistent teams in the NHL since 2011-12. He’s done it by shrewd signings and trades. This season alone he was able to sign Kevin Hayes and trade for top defenseman Keith Yandle. All that on the heels of losing 5 players from last year’s Cup Final team.
The winner, Steve Yzerman has done an excellent job as well. Since 2010-11, he has 2 ECF appearances and 1 Cup appearance. His free agent signings of Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle were key moves in getting the Lightning over the top this year. While I don’t think his success surpassed what Sather has done, I can at least make an argument to him winning this year.
When it comes to the Jack Adams award for coach of the year, Bob Hartley and his “just got into the playoffs” season is a joke! I won’t pull punches here. The Flames had a nice season and made a little noise in the playoffs. That’s nice. None of what they accomplished this season was remotely close to what AV accomplished this year.
The award is supposed to be based on the accomplishments of this year alone and voters can’t factor in last season. Even if that was the case, I would argue that AV should still have won. But the truth is it indirectly seems to be taken into consideration. Why else would Patrick Roy have won it last year in his first season? The Avalanche were bad the year before, he had no prior NHL coaching experience, comes in and becomes a 1 hit wonder.
If they really didn’t consider these factors, Roy wouldn’t have gotten a sniff as there were coaches who finished higher in the standings that deserved it. Same goes for Bob Hartley. Yes, the Flames missed the playoffs last year and he has taken a young group and gotten them in the mix. Is that really great coaching? Just getting in? I assure you it shouldn’t be.
Look at AV this season. He took his team to the Stanley Cup Final last year and lost 5 key players to either cap casualty buyout, trades and free agency. In their place now are some young talents by the names of Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast. Impressive no? Should be because all three thrived in roles on a team that finished with the best record in hockey.
Let’s not pretend that the Rangers had an easy regular season either. They were a .500 hockey team in November and had key injuries to Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Henrik Lundqvist. Yet, he found a way to pull them out of the early slump and persevere through all those injuries to a Presidents’ Trophy title.
So why did AV not win? Here’s my thoughts….anti NY / Big Market sentiments. Yup, I said it. The winner of the Jack Adams is selected by a poll of the NHL Broadcasters Association many of which are smaller markets. Let’s face it, NY, CHI, BOS, and DET are the big boys in the U.S.. That isn’t enough to cut it obviously and don’t think anyone in Canada is voting for a big market U.S. team either. If Alain Vigneault would have done what he did in Carolina, they may have handed two Jack Adams on stage.
When I started writing this, I didn’t want it to devolve into a rant, but this is where its gone. None of the big media outlets will call this what it really is….a travesty of justice. Well then, thank God for blogs and giving me a voice even if it is a small one.