Friday, June 15, 2007

The Sidney Show

He’s becoming (if not already become) the poster boy for the NHL, the foundation of the league’s American footprint (such as it is) and on Thursday night he carried home a collection of trophies.

Sidney Crosby became the first teenager to win the Hart as the league's most valuable player, picked up the Pearson as the best player as determined by his fellow players, and found some room for the Art Ross Trophy as the scoring champion for the 2006-07 season, not a bad haul for somebody only in his second year of play.

Crosby very much was the centre of attraction on Thursday, when he wasn’t collecting trophies he was providing colour commentary for Ron McLean, giving little tid bits about fellow players and their impact on the NHL.

Awards shows tend to become cliché ridden after a while, predictable in nature and normally far too long. While the NHL awards are an important part of the NHL year, the show does seem to drag a bit and sometimes gives off the scent of a high school commencement rather than a celebration of NHL excellence.

This year it seems that technical glitches caused a few problems for the CBC and their American compatriot Versus, the audio feed would occasionally go dead and Versus ended up having to abandon a live broadcast due to a fire in a truck outside the building. They provided a program from the World Combat League and televised the NHL awards at 11 pm EST.

The NHL may not wish to look at the overnight numbers on the off chance that the World Combat Leauge had a successful time in its emergency replacement mode.

The show did have some key moments, a tribute to Saku Koivu and the awarding of the Bill Masterton trophy to Phil Kessel of the Bruins guaranteed that there wouldn’t be dry eyes during the telecast.

The Don Cherry award to non performing Europeans went to a pair of Russians who were not available to collect their trophies, leaving GM’s and coaches to accept their awards and the vision of the runners up twisting uncomfortably in their chairs.

The trophies awarded, the bands finished on the stage and Ron McLean out of material, the players, families, agents and league officials no doubt retied to their after awards show parties. Maybe next year, they can follow the playes out of the hall and into the limos and on to the parties might be an interesting concept for a reality show, Awards Show entourage.

With the show done for another year, the final bit of business before the summer break comes up with the amateur draft later next weekend, it’s the last thing circled on the NHL fans calendar before next fall’s training camps.

For the Record your winners last night can all be found here.

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