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From Texas: Columnist Jan Snyder forwards her thoughts on the 2008 NHL Awards held in Toronto last night. She discovers how really powerful the colour red is to the world’s top hockey players...and the importance of a good tailor.



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Game One

by Jan Snyder
Friday June 13th, 2008

We can now tie up the 2007-08 hockey season with a bow.  After the NHL Awards Show, the players go their separate ways to enjoy their summer vacation.

This year’s show was a celebration of youth and the future.  The stage was filled with and surrounded by youth hockey players of all ages from all over Canada.  What an articulate and fun group they were too!

Was it just me or did Ron MacLean’s tux not fit quite right?  Why didn’t Alex Ovechkin’s jacket cover his tie?  Did the cleaner’s shrink Craig Simpson’s suit?  Sorry, this isn’t fashion commentary, just a hold-over from seeing “Sex and the City”.  But really, the wardrobes weren’t outstanding tonight.

Seemed like to be an award recipient this year, you had to play on a team that wears a red sweater!

Alex of the large red tie took the Pearson and the Hart; Dominick Hasek accepted the Jennings Trophy on behalf of the Detroit Red Wings; Pavel Datsyuk took two trophies, the Selke and the Lady Byng; Patrick Kane received the Calder as Rookie of the Year; Nik Lidstrom won the well-deserved Norris and Martin Brodeur walked away with the Vezina.  Think about it – they all wear red jerseys, either home or away.  Heck, even Gordie Howe, who was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, was a Red Wing and Coach of the Year was Boudreau, who doesn’t wear a uniform, but coaches the Caps who sometimes wear red ones!

Jason Blake and his struggle with cancer entitled him to the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and Vinnie LaCavalier took the King Clancy, awarded to the player who does the most for charities. 
I liked the combination of young and old, having the kids in their jerseys front and center so that the winners could interact with them, which they all did.  Seeing Gordie Howe so humble and encouraging to the kids was great as well. 

Pavel Datsyuk, that recent Stanley Cup winner, had the best line when he said he’d like to make a longer speech but this English was too short. 
Paul Coffey presented the Norris Trophy, which brought back great memories of watching him play.  Nice to see Mike Bossy, Wendell Clark and Billy Smith as presenters.

Now all the business of the season is over.  Teams will start to change, players will move, and fans will need to buy new jerseys by July 1, if not sooner.  Savor the memories of this year, they sure were good ones!

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