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Latest Jacket News – NHL Awards Preview

The NHL awards are set for this Thursday evening and a couple of Blue Jackets have been nominated for three different awards. Super Rookie Steve Mason has the best shot at collecting some hardware as he is up for the Vezina (Top Goalie) and Rookie of the Year. Competing with Mason for the Vezina are Boston‘s Tim Thomas and Minnesota‘s Nik Backstrom. Mason had the type of season that one could only dream of. Not only did he guide his organization to their first NHL appearance, he had 10 shutouts, 33 wins, 2.29 goals against average and battled through mono.  As much I would love to see Mason come home with the Vezina, I believe the award will go to Thomas with Mason finishing a close second. Thomas is on of the many feel good stories of the league. If you have not already heard his story you should really google it. His parents actually sold their wedding rings to afford to let their son play hockey. So the Vezina will go to Thomas in my opinion, but Mason will win many Vezinas throughout his career and should be happy taking home the Calder as the leagues top rookie.

Bobby Ryan (ANA) and Kris Versteeg (CHI) had great first seasons in the league, but Mason as TSN/NBC’s Pierre McGuire likes to say was a Monster. Mason was at a completely different level and wins the Calder hands down, not even close.  Mason will join Rick Nash as the only Blue Jackets ever to capture an award. 

Speaking of Rick Nash, he has been named finalists for the 11th annual NHL Foundation Player Award in recognition of their commitment and service to charities in their communities. The NHL will donate $25,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice. Dustin Brown of LA and Alex Kovalev of Montreal are also up for the award. 

Here is a list of my other predictions as we head to the NHL Award this week.

Norris Trophy:
Zdeno Chara (BOS)
Mike Green (WSH)
Nicklas Lidstrom (DET)

Lady Byng Trophy:
Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
Zach Parise (NJ)
Martin St Louis (TB)

Vezina Trophy:
Niklas Backstrom (MIN)
Steve Mason (CBJ)
Tim Thomas (BOS)

Selke Trophy:
Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
Ryan Kesler (VAN)
Mike Richards (PHI)

Hart Trophy:
Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
Alexander Ovechkin (WSH)

Masterton Trophy:
Chris Chelios (DET)
Steve Sullivan (NSH)
Richard Zednik (FLO)

Adams Award:
Claude Julien (BOS)
Todd McLellan (SJ)
Andy Murray (STL)

 



Also if you have not already heard the Blue Jackets are hosting an Open House Draft Party and you can join Steve Mason, RJ Umberger and Jared Boll at Nationwide Arena. Watch the draft from the arena floor.  Draft coverage begins at 7pm on VERSUS and 1460 The Fan. 

The first 500 fans also get a free T-shirt!

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:  

  • Food and Drink Specials
  • Locker Room Tours
  • Cannon and Zamboni Photo opportunities (bring your camera!)
  • Street Hockey on the arena floor for kids

  • Merchandise and Game Used Equipment Sale
  • Opportunity to select your seats with the help of a Blue Jackets player for the 2009-2010 season

I would give anything to be able to make it down to Columbus to join the festivities. So show up and show your support for the team as the draft is always a time when teams are wheeling and dealing. 

 

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