Monday, November 13, 2006

Mark Messier Award

As posted on TSN, the NHL is introducing a new monthly award tomorrow evening, called the Mark Messier Award. According to the article:

"Messier, with input from the league, will select a player in each month who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice. There will also be a leader of the year award given at the end of the regular season."

Since the award is being given out in New York tomorrow, I would guess that it will be given to a player on either the Devils or the Rangers. I'm thinking probably Brodeur, who has 10 wins and 3 shutouts thus far (both tied for the league lead). My pick thus far would be Daniel Briere.

A couple quick thoughts:
1. It's a little surprising that Messier gets his own award ahead of guys like Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux or Howe
2. I'm not sure why he is the one who gets to select the winner (with input from the league)
3. I think it would be better as a yearly award instead of a monthly award. It's not like they give out awards for the highest scorer of the month, best goalie or the month or coach of the month, so leader of the month seems a little forced.

Don't get me wrong, Messier is one of my favorite players of all-time but the NHL seems to be coming up with these ideas ad hoc without a clear overall strategy. Afterall, November 14th seems to be a little late to be handing out awards for October.

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