When looking back on the Hurricanes short NHL season, the Canes played themselves out of playoff contention, however they did bring the Stanley Cup to Raleigh, NC of all places last year. We should all still be celebrating that fact.
On the optimistic side of things, here are the Carolina On Ice individual awards:
Hart Trophy (MVP): Ray Whitney.
-Leads the team in scoring at 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists)
-Has the fastest (natural) hat trick of the regular season in the NHL (1:40 in one period)
-"The Wizard" stayed healthy (for the most part) all year and always created scoring chances
Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy (player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey): Brent Falcon, ECU Pirates, Captain.
In two years of existence, the NY transfer has spear-headed the building of an unknown sport in Eastern North Carolina into a legitimate powerhouse of college hockey. See previous post "The Pirates Are Ready". Congrats to the Pirates, and we will be seeing them in the NCAA Frozen Four in a few years.
Selke Trophy (best defensive forward), Lady Byng Trophy (exemplifies sportsmanship and gentlemanliness (sp?)): Rod Brind'amour.
Things could have been REALLY bad early without our rock of a captain. "Rod the Bod" still wins over 60% of his faceoffs, had a solid (current) 80 points, and plays through almost any injury or illness.
Vezina trophy (Best Goaltender): Cam Ward.
It's not easy following up a rookie season that included Lord Stanley's Cup, The Playoff MVP, and marriage. Ward-O stepped in the #1 goaltender position this year with solid performances and highlight reel saves (30-20-6). Although he would like to have a few of the goals scored against back, the majority of nights he had his teammates to thank for those.
The Jack Adams Award (Best Coach): Hockey Parents
If you're a parent and you invest the time, energy, and financials in your kid playing a game they love; YOU are the best coach of them all. This wonderful sport will continue to embrace our communities with your support.