The NHL Awards was beamed into our living rooms from Las Vegas last night. While the Tampa Bay Lightning will only bring one trophy back home, they were definitely all over the broadcast. Steven Stamkos was nominated for two awards and was presented with some hardware.
As the league’s leading scorer, he was awarded the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. His incredible 60 goal season earned him the honor and it was nice to see him recognized in front of crowd with so many of the NHL’s luminaries. Stamkos previously shared the Richard trophy with Sidney Crosby after the 2010-11 season.
Stamkos was also up for both of the MVP titles: the Ted Lindsay Award and the Hart Trophy. The Lindsay is voted on by the members of the NHLPA while the Hart is awarded by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Both ended up going to Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and a lot of Bolts fans were up in arms. It’s not all that surprising, given the absolutely stellar season Malkin had. Had the Lightning made the playoffs, it may have been another story for Stammer.
He even took time out of his schedule to blog about the experience for NHL.com and he was honored to be nominated for the individual awards, but the team’s future is his focus.
“I’m really driven now. As a team we realized how close we were in 2011, getting to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, yet we know now how so far away we also were. The tough part for me was that Game 7 against Boston was our 100th game of the season, and that was just to get into the Stanley Cup Final.
This past season we might have gotten caught with our hand in the cookie jar, expecting a little too much because of that playoff run. We’ve all learned lessons and we’ve matured as players through this process. The core guys are still there and we know what it takes. We’ll be better prepared next year.” (Source: NHL.com)
Steven also got involved in the show when professional dancer Cheryl Burke prompted him to get up and practice a dip with her in a weird mini try out for “Dancing With The Stars” or something. Instead of a musical guest at the 2013 awards, can we just have hockey players dancing awkwardly for a minute or two on stage? That would improve the show dramatically.
Congrats, Stammer! We’re insanely proud of you. You’re definitely our MVP and will prove why to the whole league in the coming years.