Taking a look at ideas for awards to hand out in your fantasy hockey league
Next Tuesday, the NHL's elite will gather in Las Vegas for the annual cheesefest known as the NHL Awards. Yes, we'll no doubt have to put up with awkward red carpet interviews, mediocre musical performances, cringe-worthy Ron MacLean puns and old hockey players trying desperately to be funny.
But what it's really all about is remembering and honoring the best of the season that was – a worthwhile endeavour, I'm sure we can all agree. It puts a cap on the past nine months of action before attention shifts to next season, at the entry draft which follows a few days later. As difficult as it can be to sit through at times, I haven't missed the ceremony for years.
End of season awards can provide the same function in your fantasy league, too. In my league, the league champion hoists the Theoren Fleury Memorial Trophy (which I've had proudly displayed on my shelf three times in the past four years, thankyouverymuch). The winner of our playoff pool takes home the Mark Messier Cup.
But beyond the championships, at the end of each season our owners vote on a series of player awards to honour the best fantasy players in our league. As commissioner, I prepare a list of nominees for each award; I usually nominate about six players per award, though this varies; I try to include every viable candidate. I provide all pertinent stats to make the voting process easy for everybody. Owners are asked to send me their top three choices for each award, and players receive 5 points for a first place vote, 3 points for a second place vote, and 1 point for a third place vote. They are asked to vote based on fantasy qualifications in our unique scoring system, not on "real life" value; these are fantasy awards, after all.
The awards were named based on the inaugural award winners seven seasons ago. Below is a list of our awards, along with this season's winner. Use these to stir ideas for your own awards – the only limit is your creativity!
The Alex the Great MVP
(Most Valuable to his GFHL Team)
2014 Winner: Tuukka Rask
The Ovie Award
(Best Performance by a Forward)
2014 Winner: Sidney Crosby
The Highway Nabbery Award
(Best Performance by a Goalie)
2014 Winner: Tuukka Rask
The Dion D-Man of the Year
(Best Performance by a Defenceman)
2014 Winner: Erik Karlsson
The Fist of Phaneuf Goonery Award
(Best Performance by a Tough Guy – emphasis on PIM, Hits and Points)
2014 Winner: David Backes
The Kane is Able Young Gun of the Year
(Best Performance by a Player Who Began the Season as a GFHL Prospect – under 165 GP for a skater, or 100 GP for a goalie)
2014 Winner: Ben B