2015 NHL Awards Show: What To Look Out For


Everybody’s favourite event of the NHL season is coming up tomorrow: the awards show in Las Vegas. Wait, what do you mean it’s not your favourite? Perhaps I’m confusing that with the draft that’s on Friday. Anyhow, no matter how lame it normally is, this years show is quite significant for Ottawa and their fans.

Most years I normally half-watch the awards while I’m doing something else, and there will be the occasional interesting thing that happens. Who can forget this classic skit with Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf from five years ago? But now that the Senators have three nominees for various awards, I’m sure fans will be paying a lot closer attention (myself included).

The NHL Awards are always the same thing every year, so I think it’s quite predictable. Here are some things to look out for on Wednesday night:

Ottawa’s Trio Of Winners

The Senators have Erik Karlsson nominated for the Norris Trophy, Mark Stone for the Calder Trophy, and Andrew Hammond for the Masterton Memorial Trophy. I’d say there’s a decent chance that all three of them win, which would be quite the feel-good story for the organization.

We know how well Karlsson played this season, and I’d be very surprised honestly if he didn’t win the Norris. In 2011-12 when he won he was sensational and finished with a career-high 78 points, but this season his game looked a bit more refined. He also re-discovered his stride and he finally was able to get back to being his old self.

Apr 24, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) during the warm-up in game five against Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

But considering he had a better season than when he won a Norris, it would be odd to see him not win this time around. Stone also has a good chance, although it really does look like a coin flip. You can’t go wrong with either Stone, Johnny Gaudreau or Aaron Ekblad, and I truly can see any of them winning.

In my biased opinion I think Stone should win it, but there’s a lot of uncertainty around him winning. Then there’s Hammond, who is up against Devan Dubnyk and Kris Letang. This award is always hard to predict because it’s based on perseverance and hard work, but I’d say Hammond’s story is amongst the best.

He was a few months away from most likely being without a contract, and then he led the Senators into the playoffs and got a shiny new one-way deal and became the backup. It would be hard to not give the Hamburglar the recognition he deserves.

Las Vegas Expansion?

There have been rumours about a Las Vegas expansion team for quite some time now, and they are even building a rink downtown that would house a future NHL team. I would not be surprised at all to see Gary Bettman announce the leagues intention to expand to Las Vegas (and maybe another city) for the 2017 season. It makes sense, as the show is in Vegas and what better way to formally announce it?

Even the players would be on board, which is exactly what the NHL wants to hear.

Celebrities Who Don’t Know Hockey Butchering Players Names

This is guaranteed to happen every year. For some reason the NHL brings out celebrities who no nothing about hockey, and they (predictably) butcher a player’s name. It’s not their fault; they might not even like hockey. But I mean if you are going to get famous people to present your prestigious awards, wouldn’t you want people who are also passionate hockey fans?

It makes the whole night look like amateur hour, but at the same time I’m sure it gets laughs from hockey fans watching at home. Just look at this…

A Lot Of Awkward Jokes That Don’t Get Laughs

It isn’t meant to be comedy hour, but of course there should still be some humour in the show. There’s rarely ever uproarious laughter, and most of the time the hosts jokes go over people’s heads which makes me cringe every time. Last year George Strombolopoulos was alright, but he thinks he’s funnier than he really is. I give him credit for trying, but it’s so odd seeing him expecting lots of laughter and all you hear is a few giggles.

The host this year is Rob Riggle, who I really do like and I think he might actually be able to make it entertaining. I’m not sure how good his hockey knowledge is, but I’m sure the show will be a bit funnier. He’ll have some jokes that don’t go over well, but so will the presenters. Whenever a celebrity comes up they try to do a little schtick, but it’s always very lame. Overall, the awards show tries to be funny and it usually isn’t, although this year it may be a bit better.

Band That Used To Be Popular

For a few years, the NHL had Nickelback perform at the awards. Now Daughtry is the featured band because uh…they were big at one time? I’ll be honest, I used to listen to Daughtry a few years back, but I haven’t heard about them in so long. Why can’t they get a band that everybody will like? Or just have no band at all? It’s an awards show, there doesn’t have to be rock music.

Why can’t they get a band that everybody will like?

It’s funny seeing another group that isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be performing at the show, because maybe all bigger bands would loathe saying yes to this event.

Lastly, one of the more important things is…

Sens Jesus To Present The Calder

Daniel Alfredsson will be presenting the Calder Trophy, and if you want to read into that, Mark Stone may be the winner for the award. It’s always great getting to see Alfie, and it will be even more amazing if he gets to hand off the award to fan favourite Stone.

It could be one of the highlights of the night, and if you are able to watch it then you should at least see when Alfredsson comes out.


All in all, the awards show is usually quite easy to make fun of. It can be lame, and that’s what I would expect. Basically a shortened version of this post would be: watch out for Ottawa’s nominees and the show being laughable. It’s certainly worth watching though, especially with the Senators potentially taking home three trophies.

Next: Compilation Of NHL Mock Drafts: Ottawa's Selections

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