Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Someone’s Gotta Make a Stand

The NHL’s weird little award show is on tonight (I’ll bet any amount of money that the Barenaked Ladies are going to be there), but I will not be watching. It’s been over a month since hockey writers made the appalling choice to nominate Jordan Staal over Anze Kopitar as NHL’s rookie of the year, but I’m still pretty pissed about it. SI’s Alan Muir (who I think is fairly solid, if a little weird-looking) agreed, stating, “…the third finalist (for the Calder) should have been Kings forward Anze Kopitar, or even San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic, both of whom earned larger roles with their respective teams.”

What do you mean I wasn't nominated?

As I have written before, I just can not fathom any position that justifies leaving Kopitar off the ballot and the only reason I'm the only one outraged about it is that it’s the NHL and that he plays for a west coast team that was out of contention most of the year. Probably the most annoying thing is that no one cares because it seems so natural. Why wouldn’t the Canadian guy with the famous brother who was on Versus 7 times and NBC 5 get more votes than the Slovenian kid from the team in LA? (In case you were curious, the Kings were on Versus and NBC once each.)

I know Earl’s position on this issue; he argues that he’d much rather get a level of performance worthy of an award than the award itself, and it’s a good point. But what bothers me is that people will look in 15-20 years at Staal’s career and mention how he was a finalist for the Calder trophy, while no one will remember that Kopitar should have been nominated. The problem is that when careers are evaluated, nobody remembers the extenuating circumstances of each season and all the little reasons that someone might have been over- or underrated. Instead, they just look at awards or point totals because it’s easier. The least the NHL could do is make sure those awards are accurate, so as not to deny a good kid like Anze Kopitar what he has earned.

I’m not asking anyone else to boycott these awards (besides, I think I can significantly affect Versus’ ratings by myself), and I know my reaction is over the top, but someone has to make a stand. I guess you could say that this makes me a hero, but I don’t like to think of it like that. I’m just a noble man out to preserve Kopitar’s honor. Okay, I guess I’m kind of a hero.


In other Kings’ news, Hockey’s Future has their Kings’ draft preview out, and it’s a pretty good brush-up on the Kings’ prospect situation right before the draft next Friday. Long story short, they have the Kings taking Karl Alzner, the defenseman for the Calgary Hitmen. (Oddly enough, they had the Kings taking James Van Riemsdyk when the article first went up, but they switched it about an hour later. Weird.) Who do I think the Kings should take? You’ll have to wait… (That’s called a hook, friends!)


Ted said...

Good post, and you have a knack for the humorous. Can't argue with you. Been talking on the Sharks usenet group (I know I am a dinosaur) all year about Vlasic, so I kind of know the feeling, except none of us ever expected any recognition for a defensive defenseman, even as good as Marc Edouard.

Earl Sleek said...

Good work, RK! Back-to-back posts! :)

If anyone's curious or concerned, I'll get back on Duck posts next week. For now, I'm just enjoying the view and the break.

On topic, I fully expect the Ducks to lose all awards they have been nominated for. And yeah, under the glare of the big trophy, it doesn't bother me very much.

dbushik said...

I do agree the non-nomination of Kopitar is outrageous, but I really don't think it means anything.

A Calder nomination I can really only see coming up in evaluating a guy down the road who then doesn't go on to be good (Like Jim Carey's Vezina). Malkin is the hands down winner, and yes, totally, that third nomination should have gone to Kopitar, but aside form it being a knock to the egos of west coast fans it's pretty meaningless.

I wish Dave Foley would do work on the awards show again like he did a few years back. Geuss he was a little too funny...

PPP said...

Hey Rudy, I just wanted to let you know that I saw your namesake at the NHL awards tonight.

He's a lot taller than I thought he would be.

As for Kopitar, it happens. Sleek's attitude is right but it would still be nice to get the recognition.

Marie said...

RK, you said it best.

All season long, Kopitar did not get the recognition he deserved. The kid is outstanding and the fans love him and it's definitely too bad he wasn't nominated.

MacS said...

Honestly man, Staal got 30 goals and a record for SH markers. The problem is simply that there were a lot of good rookies last year. Your complaint is like a Flames fan complaining Dion Phanuef didn't win last year - justified in the sense that he earned it, yet unjustified in the sense that there were a lot of other equally worthy nominees.

And if you're going to blame anything, I think you should start with nationality. It's not just that Staal is Canadian, it's that Anze is Slovenian.

Look on the bright side though, the only reason the Kings were able to draft Kopitar is that he's Slovenian - otherwise he would have gone much higher.

Ricig said...

another for the Kopitar club. I picked him to win the Calder back in September so therefore took a keen interest in him all year - every time i watched the Kings play (more times than any east-coaster would care to admit) he was easily the best player on the ice (unfortunately early in the season Dan Cloutier was easily the worst player on the ice, often negating Anze's effect...).

Kopitar's time will come. Awards are meaningless other than in the realm of public perception. As for real-world impact, you could make the case that it is a good thing he wasn't even nominated as it could artificially keep his salary down, for at least a little while!


Ricig said...

oh yeah - the real reason I meant to comment: no worries on affecting Versus' ratings for the awards. Wasn't it great tuning in last night and seeing Ultimate Fighting? ....

As always: blame Gary B.

RudyKelly said...

Yeah, I guess they were so distressed by my boycott plan that they didn't even bother to show the awards. Victory!

dbushik said...

I had set my DVR to record the thing, and then came home late from work to watch it. They did show it, but just at 8pm instead of the announced time of 5pm.

I got super lucky. I got home and ready to watch it, figured out I had recorded ultimate fighting, and then flipped over to VS just in time for them to finish the red carpet thing with Trish Stratus (who? oh yeah, canucks watch wrastlin') and begin the actual show.

Don't know how lucky other fans were. Way to go NHL and VS!

Oh yeah, and Ron McLean is just awesome. The NHLFA has been recently promoting the idea of getting HNiC broadcast on public television in the states, and I think that would be wonderful.

Anonymous said...

HNiC rules. The only redeeming thing about relocating to Seattle and not having an NHL team is getting CBC on cable and thus getting HNiC every Saturday and every night during the postseason.