And The Winners Are….

The Canadian Movie Industry honors it best with an awards show every year called the Genie Awards.

Welcome, SenShot readers, to our first annual Ottawa Senators Team Awards called the EUGENIES, named so after the owner of the team, Eugene Melnyk.  We have spared the expense of a room rental, meals and award statues altogether, and are awarding the lucky winners a beautiful virtual trophy:

The EUGENIE AWARD

These awards have been voted on by the SenShot writers: myself, Tony Mendes and Derrick Brose.  The votes have been tabulated and the results sealed until now.

Disclaimer:  Given the roller-coaster season and the amount of turnover and injuries on the roster, we have set the following requirements for consideration: A) to have appeared in a minimum of 20 games (15 for goaltenders); and B) to still be a member of the Senators’ organization at the end of the season.  We fully realize the irony of having an awards presentation after such a rocky season, but we felt the good should be rewarded nonetheless.

So enough legal mumbo-jumbo, on with the show:

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

The award given to the player who made the biggest increase in contribution from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

The Nominees are:

  • Brian Lee
  • Ryan Shannon
  • Zack Smith
  • Jesse Winchester
    And the EUGENIE goes to….Brian Lee!

The defenseman sat out for almost two straight months as a healthy scratch, but upon his return he made a name for himself as a partner for Chris Phillips.  He carried himself well in a shutdown role, quite often getting over 20 minutes per game.

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Most Gentlemanly/Sportsmanlike Player

Awarded to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship and gentlemanly play on and off the ice.

The Nominees are:

  • Daniel Alfredsson
  • Chris Phillips
  • Ryan Shanon
  • Jesse Winchester

And the EUGENIE goes to…..Ryan Shannon!

Always a gentleman on the ice, Shannon is a soft-spoken player who just does his job.  He was whistled for only 11 minor penalties this season.

on the flip side of that coin…

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THE TOUGH GUY AWARD

Given to the player who you would most want by your side walking down a dark alley in Philadelphia while wearing a Senators jersey.

The Nominees are:

  • Matt Carkner
  • Francis Lessard
  • Chris Neil
  • Zack Smith

And the EUGENIE goes to…..Matt Carkner!

The big, bruising defenseman had a number of heavyweights on his dance card in 2010-11.  Rick Rypien, Colton Orr, Derek Boogard, George Parros and Eric Godard were among the thugs that Carkner battled.  He may not have won them all, but he did win the respect of his teammates by sticking up for them and giving them more space on the ice.  Oh, and he can play a little, too.

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ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Awarded to the rookie who has had the most impact on the club this season.

The Nominees are:

  • Bobby Butler
  • Erik Condra
  • Colin Greening
  • Zack Smith

And the EUGENIE goes to….Bobby Butler!

The 2010 NCAA free agent signing started the season in Binghamton, and was recalled for 4 games in December.  He was sent down after failing to gain a point.  He was recalled in mid-january, where he became a lineup staple. After going pointless in his first nine games, Butler scored 20 points (9G, 11A) in his next 26 games.

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BEST DEFENSIVE FORWARD

Awarded to the forward who performs the best in his own end, the player you want out there in the last minute of a game protecting a one goal lead.

The Nominees are:

  • Daniel Alfredsson
  • Zack Smith
  • Jason Spezza
  • Milan Michalek

And the EUGENIE goes to…..Jason Spezza!

Given his reputation I don’t think anyone would have thought this at the beginning of the season.  But since his return from a shoulder injury, Spezza has turned up his game at both ends of the ice.  His faceoff prowess and breakout ability have more than overshadowed his penchant for turnovers.  He has become an elite penalty killer and his stick skills make him a force in his own end despite not being a physical presence.

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TOP DEFENSEMAN

Goes to the defeseman who displays the best all-around game.

The Nominees are:

  • Sergei Gonchar
  • Erik Karlsson
  • Brian Lee
  • Chris Phillips

And the EUGENIE goes to….Erik Karlsson!

The 2nd year pro completed his first full NHL season with an impressive 45 points.  He was selected to represent the Senators at the All-Star game in Raleigh.  Karlsson has some a lot of work to do in his own end, but his all-around performance was very strong for a 20-year old and he is the future of the d-corps in Ottawa.

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TOP GOALTENDER AWARD

Given to the best goaltender for the Senators this season:

The Nominees are:

  • Craig Anderson
  • Craig Anderson
  • Craig Anderson
  • Craig Anderson

And the EUGENIE goes to….surprisingly, CRAIG ANDERSON!

The only goaltender who meets the criteria, Anderson would have won the award even if it wasn’t by acclamation.  Anderson came in on Feb 18th in a trade with Colorado for Brian Elliott.  He promplty shut out the Maple Leafs 1-0 in a shootout and things went from there.  He posted a 2.05 GAA with a .940 SP in 18 games with the Senators.  He parlayed his play into a new 4 year contract extension to remain in Ottawa for the forseeable future.

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THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD

Given to the player who the Senators could not do without for an extended period of time and still be successful.

The Nominees are:

  • Daniel Alfredsson
  • Craig Anderson
  • Erik Karlsson
  • Jason Spezza

And the EUGENIE goes to….Jason Spezza!

Before his Boxing Day shoulder injury, the Senators were still in a playoff position.  By the time he was ready to return on Feb 5th, the Senators were 13th and on the verge of falling into last place overall.  The Senators were 15-9-2 after his return.  Spezza showed a level of leadership that many didn’t fell he had, and he demonstrated why Daniel Alfredsson suggested Spezza should be the heir apparent for the captaincy.

Well this wraps up the first annual EUGENIE Awards, celebrating excellence in the Ottawa Senators organization.  Hopefully it will be an exciting off-season and these awards will have more meaning next season.

Stay tuned later this week for another set of awards highlighting the lighter side of the season.

Hope you enjoyed the Awards!

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Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.

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