The topic of the NHL's awards came up earlier this season when Glen Healy mentioned on Hockey Night in Canada that there was talk of renaming the trophies, except the Stanley Cup, to honor contemporary players. That discussion is usually brought up once a season and as always, like Healy's nugget of info, it's quickly shot down. The discussion then moves on to whether or not adding trophies, such as the "Gretzky Award" for the player who has the most assists, is something the NHL might contemplate in the future.
Hockey historian Joe Pelletier of the informative blog Greatest Hockey Legends, has come up with his own way to revamp the NHL's end-of-year awards by honoring more recent hockey legends, keeping the histories of the Hart, Norris, Vezina, and other trophies alive while trying to eliminate the dreaded "east coast bias" in the voting process.
Here's Pelletier's idea:
"Instead of having three nominees, have an Eastern and Western winner. Those two players would each win a new trophy, named after hockey legends. The two players would also be the nominees for the league-wide award, which would continue to be the trophies we have always used."
Some of Pelletier's examples would see Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux honored for the Eastern and Western Conference MVP's; Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau for conference points leaders; Doug Harvey and Bobby Orr for best defensemen; and Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito for the goal scoring champions. He's come up with ideas for all 11 of the NHL's annual awards.
It's an interesting thought for those who believe that west coast players like Jarome Iginla(notes), Evgeni Nabokov(notes), Drew Doughty(notes) and (maybe) Henrik Sedin(notes) have been robbed of major NHL awards in the past because of the time zone they play in.
Adding 22 trophies to the mix might be a little taxing on the Awards show broadcast, though. How would the NHL fit in the various performances by Chaka Khan?