A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
The Goal Brothers National Hockey League Awards 2012
Last month The NHL presented its annual awards with Ottawa Senator Erick Karlsson winning the Norris Trophy for the best defensemen of the year.
Pittsburgh Penguin Evgeni Malkin won the Ted Lindsay Award, which was voted by the players as best player of the year.
Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche won the Calder Trophy for the Rookie of the Year Award. Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward. Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers won the Lady Byng Trophy for the Sportsman of the Year Award. The New York Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist won the Vezina Trophy beating out Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. Last but not least, Malkin won the Hart Trophy for the Most Valuable Player.
But there was something missing in these awards, abviously the presence of color.
The Popsicle Brothers started a discussion on the influx of Black hockey stars now on the ice. How these players all over the league have impacted the game. These men have added speed, strength, agility and…diversity to the game.
Example Joel Ward’s winning goal for the Washington Capitals, beating the Boston Bruins in game six. The rise of the Philadelphia Flyers with crafty winger Wayne Simmonds, helping to lead the Orange and Black into the playoffs and defensemen Bryce Salvador holding the New Jersey defense together to help them move into the Stanley Cup Finals.
The game of hockey has long been international as evidenced of the 2012 entry draft. Players from Russia, Canada, United States, Europe and Africa will don NHL jerseys next year; it can be called the United Nations on ice.
So the Popsicle Brothers created the Goal Brothers Awards for 2012.
Our Norris Trophy goes to New Jersey Devil Bryce Salvador the 6 foot 2, 200 pound defensemen has transitioned from the old New Jersey stingy Left Wing Lock System of the 1980′s-1990′s to the swing rotation defense of the present team where the whole team participates blocking shots on net. He is one of the players who played every game of last season and helped the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals with 9 goals, 11 assist, and a plus 10 in the playoffs.
The Calder Cup would be presented to the Anaheim Duck rookie Devante Smith – Pelly for his outstanding play in 2011. The big strong 20 year old will improve the Ducks’ future.Which will be bright at the Pond with scoring chances on the right side of the ice. Last year he scored 7 goals with 6 assist in his “audition” for the big club.
Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals receives the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward. Ward played both positions throughout his career so he knew how to stop opponents from scoring while scoring for his team.
The Lady Byng Award is a no – brainer with Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. An ambassador to the game on the ice and true gentleman.
He is the shining example to what future Black players should strive to be. If he were not buried in the Mid-West Alberta outback he would be a superstar in the United States; although we know “Iggy” is beloved and respected across Canada.
The Vezina Trophy heads to Chicago and Ray Emery. If the Blackhawks had kept Emery in net they might have made the Stanley Cup Finals. Emery went on a 7-1-1 record before being pulled for Cory Crawford in early April. He has a winning record for the past three years with a 38-22 slate.
The Hart Trophy would land in Philadelphia with the hardest working Goal Brother on the ice, Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds changed the attitude in the city of Brotherly Love on the ice with power, grit, strength, and determination, with career high in scoring and total points.
Simmonds put back the punch in Broad Street and reclaimed the bullies. He guided the Orange and Black to the playoffs with a purpose to gain the Stanley Cup, something that has not been achieved in a few years.
The Popsicle Brothers have added two new awards in place of The Jack Adams Award for the coach of the year and the General Manager of the Year Award.
The Awards are The Tony McKegney Award-for the best Black athlete in NHL and The Willie O’Ree Award for encouraging young Americans to play in the National Hockey League.
Willie O’Ree was the first Black player in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins in 1958-62. He was also the first Black disabled player on the ice because he lost an eye in the minor leagues when an errant puck struck him in the face. He never told anyone.
O’Ree has been called the Jackie Robinson of hockey and currently travels to inner cities in the United States and Canada to engage in conversations with young Black children on the intricacies of the game of hockey and promote the game.
The Willie O’Ree Award goes to Jarome Iginla for the tireless work promoting the game in Canada and the United States.
Anthony Syiid “Tony” McKegney was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1978. Tony wanted to follow his older brother Ian on the ice and practice day and night. McKegney signed a contract with the new World Hockey Association’s Bulls in Birmingham, Alabama. The team faced a racial boycott from fans for signing a black player.
Tony never suited up for the Birmingham team, instead, he scored 300 goals in the NHL and was the first Black player to score 40 goals in one season and accumulated 8 twenty goal seasons before the end of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The McKegney Award goes to forward-defensemen Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets. Byfuglien was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2003.
He became the 3rd player to place his name on Lord Stanley’s Cup. When the Blackhawks beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2009-2010 season.
Dustin received racial taunts after the Hawks won the Cup on Philly’s home ice. A chorus of boos rained down on the Wachovia Center floor when Byfuglien raised the cup over his head in victory. No other Chicago player received this harsh treatment on this night.
Dustin carried the Atlanta Thrashers to the playoffs in the 2010-2011 season with 20 goals and 33 assists, the highest total of his career. The Jets will be a dominant factor in the Western Division race in the 2012-2013 season once they solidify their situation in goal.
There is one additional award we would also like to introduce – The Herbert H. Carnegie Award. This award is to be given to the Goal Brother whose team goes the farthest or gains the Stanley Cup. In this case Salvador would be the first recipient; but given the Future Aces organization which was created by him and now run by his daughter Bernice, Winnipeg’s Evander Kane (30G, 57 points) has the look of a future scoring ace and play maker.
Those are the Goal Brother Awards for the 2011-2012 season; the NHL should consider adding The Willie O’Ree Award and The Tony McKegney Award for minority players it would be a sign to young skaters all over America that this sport is open to diversity beyond public service announcements in February.
Goal Gray 4 (Ingram) 12:18 (sh)
Â©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod
Â©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod