July 18, 2010
As with any hockey season, year-end awards are a popular way to close things out and honor deserved players.
What was missing was pointing out the best in hockey pugilism for the 2009-10 season and that's where the wonderful resources known as HockeyFights.com fills that void.
The awesomely named Crowder Award for the rookie fighter of the year went to Ottawa Senators defenseman Matt Carkner(notes) whose season was highlighted by four scraps with Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy Colton Orr(notes). Carkner beat out New Jersey's Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond(notes), Tampa Bay's Zenon Konopka(notes), Paul Bissonnette(notes) of the Phoenix Coyotes, and big John Scott(notes) of the Minnesota Wild.
"Most Old-School Moment", named after Dave Schultz, went to the memorable line brawl between the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks that ended with Sean Avery(notes) getting under the skin Shane O'Brien(notes), who would end up getting suspended for a cross-bench spear:
After the jump, the "TKO/KO of the Year", as well as the "Fight of the Year".
But the knockout that truly touched the hearts of many hockey fans was Evander Kane's(notes) one-punch dismissal of super pest Matt Cooke(notes) that earned him the Kocur Award for "TKO or KO of the Year". Kane instantly became a fan favorite in Boston as this bout took place three weeks after Cooke's headshot on Marc Savard(notes). The fight also gave one of the more incredible still image in hockey history.
Finally, NHL.com and HockeyFights.com both agreed that there was no question what the "Fight of the Year" was. David Singer of HockeyFights.com dubbed the Cam Janssen(notes)-Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond tilt "The Marathon".
"Cam Janssen and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond were tireless on Saturday night, trading punches back and forth in one of the longest fights in NHL history. It went back and forth, one punch as a time for two and a half minutes.
It reminded me of two Marty McSorely fights: the heavy-action all-time classic against Bob Probert and a tiring bout with Louie Debrusk. Despite that, Janssen vs. PL3 made me think that's what it would have looked like had Darren Langdon been able to fight himself."
It wasn't the sexiest of fights, but given the determination and grit shown from Janssen and PL3, they were truly deserving of the honor.
Be sure to check out the rest of the 2009-10 honorees at HockeyFights.com.