This season has been a bad one for the Montreal Canadiens and most in the media personalities, bloggers and social media users have been (and still are) all over it. So I chose to go with a different and lighter approach to what turned out to be a pretty morbid atmosphere. Without further due, here are the 2016 Awards:
The Caught With My Pants Down Award
Awarded for being caught in a compromising position off the ice
Alex Galchenyuk – On January 12th, Galchenyuk’s girlfriend punched him on the nose when she caught him with two women after a night of partying with Devante Smith-Pelly and a few others. When police arrived, they found the 21-year-old Galchenyuk with a bloody nose, and arrested the girlfriend after speaking with some of the other partygoers.
The Golden Plunger Award
Awarded for having a crappy season to his standards
Tomas Plekanec – 14 goals this season, on a team struggling to find the back of the net. When he signed his two-year contract extension on October 16th, he had 5 goals in 6 games. Since then, he managed only 9 goals in 77 games. The team relies heavily on him.
The Monkey See Monkey Do Award
Awarded for doing what others did before
Brett Lernout – After being called up to play in his very first NHL game, Lernout was injured and declared out for the rest of the season after… eight shifts and 6:30 minutes of ice time only! Injuries, particularly to Habs’ defensemen this year, have been contagious.
The UB Fine Award
Awarded for someone with a bright future
Nathan Beaulieu – While not spared by the injury bug to Habs’ defensemen, Beaulieu has managed 19 points in 64 games this year while logging an average of 17:27 minutes of ice time. His ice time was going up and so was his confidence before suffering his last injury. He has a bright future ahead of him.
The Big Baby Award
Awarded for crying to whomever wants to hear
P-A Parenteau – After seeing his contract bought out by the Canadiens, he signed as a free agent with the Leafs but too stabs at the Canadiens, particularly Michel Therrien, every chance he got. Yet, with the Habs, Parenteau had managed only eight (8) goals, even worse than the 14 he had the previous year under Patrick Roy.
The Crap Shoot Award
Awarded for taking the blunt, deservedly or not
Lars Eller – He started the season on left wing and his production was so-so. When he was moved back to centre, his game picked up as centre is obviously a more natural position for the Danish player. His future with the team is uncertain, particularly after the acquisition of Phillip Danault.
The Horseshoe Award
Awarded for having chance on his side
Mike Condon – At the start of the season, Condon beat Dustin Tokarski for what was supposed to be the backup job to Carey Price. When Price fell to his season-ending injury, Condon became the unforeseen starter and ended up playing in a career high 55 games this season on the world’s biggest stage.
The Open Your Eyes Award
Awarded for something important that was missed
Team doctors – They earned that award for the diagnosis and prognosis of Carey Price. Originally thought to be a 4-6 weeks hiatus, then week-to-week, Price ended up being shut down for the season, something that cost the team greatly.
The Big Cheese Award
Awarded for being in the limelight while not perfect
PK Subban – When he wasn’t being questioned about his lack of goals’ scoring in spite of racking up the assists, Subban was talked about for his turnovers, a department where he puts even the Pillsbury Doughboy to shame. Then came the rumours at the trade deadline and the ones surrounding him today. He still performs at the highest level while having holes in his game.
The Breakthrough Award
Awarded for the player whose career is taking off
Alex Galchenyuk – Is there really any doubt? After he finally dumped his girlfriend, Galchenyuk went on a tear, to the point where coach Therrien put him at centre on the first line. We know the rest. When Galchenyuk focussed on his on-ice career, he is an outstanding player. The future is bright.
The Big Raise Award
Awarded for a player who was paid little but will seek a raise
Mark Barberio – When Marc Bergevin signed Barberio to a one-year, two-way contract back in July, not many thought anything of it. He started the season in St. John’s and was called up with the big club in late December. He has performed well beyond expectation and the restricted free agent will seek a substantial raise from the $600,000 he was making this year.
The Da Bomb Award
Awarded for making noise for his team
Alexei Emelin – He is known for his big hits and none was bigger than the one he laid on St. Louis Blues Paul Stastny on January 16th. Have a look for yourself:
The Donkey Award
Awarded for not showing any brains at all
Zack Kassian – When he was acquired, he had a sit-down, face-to-face with GM Marc Bergevin who told him the expectation. Yet, prior to the season even starting, Kassian was caught in controversy at 6:00am when his truck slammed into a tree. He never played a single game with the Habs.
The Hot Dog Award
Awarded for the player showing the most patience
Greg Pateryn – From October to January inclusive, he had only played in 11 games. When he was finally given a chance to play, he did extremely well for himself and few doubt that he will have a starting spot next season. He finally had time to let someone else eat the hot dogs at the Bell Centre!
The Money In The Bank Award
Awarded for someone working in the shadow doing a great job
Paul Byron – When the Canadiens claimed him off waivers back in October, several Calgary Flames fans were disappointed to see him leave the organisation. While he didn’t play for the first little while, Byron made the most of his chances when coach Therrien gave it to him, particularly in short-handed situations. He finished the season with 11 goals, two behind Lars Eller and three behind Tomas Plekanec… in only 62 games!
The Joker Award
Awarded for providing distraction
Marc Bergevin – Whether it was for putting all of the blame on himself when there was plenty of blame to share, or for his foxhole comment, Bergevin is a colourful man and even in a tough position, always provides for the necessary distractions to take pressure away from his team. Remember all the talk about his beard?
The Scape Goat Award
Awarded for being a magnet to criticism
Michel Therrien – While he may never win the Jack Adams trophy for coach of the year, Therrien is also not as bad as some media personalities or bloggers pretend that he is. It doesn’t matter what he or anyone else says, some will turn this against Therrien. I guess while they do that, they leave the players alone, right? Right? Okay, maybe not.
The Surprise Award
Awarded for someone coming out of nowhere
Joel Hanley – How many people even knew that this guy was in the Canadiens’ organisation prior to him being called up? Yet, he made the most of it, accumulating six points in 10 games while logging 16 minutes of ice time and keeping things simple.
The Teacher’s Pet Award
Awarded for being immune in spite of performances
David Desharnais – In what was a unanimous decision, and that’s not even close. Usually known for his slow starts, Desharnais started the season very well but his season went down the drain in a hurry. In spite of his lack of production, he kept on logging in tons of ice time, including powerplay time. Mind boggling, to say the least.
The Down The Toilet Award
Awarded for having a season to forget
Carey Price – Following a dream season, racking up the hardware, Price only played 12 games this season. Working hard to rehab and get back in the game wasn’t enough and his season went down the drain and with it, his team’s success.
The Artist Of The Year Award
Awarded for providing entertainment
The team – Let it Go! Just like this season… Need I say more?