So tomorrow night the NHL's best will gather in Las Vegas for the annual Awards show, breaking a long time tradition of the show being in Canada.
I'm not going to lie here; I'd still be watching the Awards show if it was being shown from Nashville, Tampa Bay, or even Santa Fe, for that matter. It's not the location that makes the show. It's the people. The presentation.
However, I will be curious to see how and if the show differs. I already noticed a questionable "Americanization" of the show last year. I wonder what that can mean when the show is actually being filmed in America.
Which many would argue are not even the same thing. ;)
That aside I have, as long as I can remember looked forward to these nights. A chance to see so many of the players - in suits =) - and hear what they have to say when they aren't being asked questions in a lockerroom/gametime setting.
In the days before Centre Ice, youtube, et al, there was no other time I'd get to see some of these players, so the show still holds a special place for me.
As for the Award nominees and all that, I'm not going to be so bold as to make predictions or so wordy as to give my opinion. (Thank yous all around I'm sure). I will save that for an after-show reflection.
All I will say is that:
I still think its a two man race for the Hart and that I'd be happy if either Ovechkin or Malkin won it.
I hope Tim Thomas takes home a well deserved Vezina.
While I think the concept of the Lady Byng might be somewhat outdated, I think any player that can go through an entire NHL season and take less than 20 minutes in penalties is amazing and deserves some sort of kudos.
I mean, come on, some of the New York Rangers can't go one minute into a game without taking an unnecessary penalty! Let alone a half a dozen games or so!
So with popcorn or beer, friends or alone, Natural Hat Trick Productions wishes you much enjoyment in watching the 2009 NHL Awards live from Las Vegas, Nevada.
And you know, if I am in position to do so, next year I might just plan a trip to Vegas to coincide with the Awards show.
Some slots, some sun, some (of the NHL's best) scorers.
Seriously, why not? ;)