Break out the red carpet. It's time to pass out some awards.
(Note: any mention of an "sponsor" is a joke. Please don't sue me.)
The "You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry" Award (sponsored by Dr. Bruce Banner): Colt King
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Colt is one scary individual. In fact, I think I referred to him as the actual Boogeyman in a blog post last season. Time and time again, Colt made an example out of those who crossed him (see Clarke, Garrett). It got to the point that no one would drop the gloves with him, and I can't blame them. The man throws thunderous punches that would put Rocky Balboa on his tuckus. Not only did Colt fulfill his reputation as the best fighter in the league, he also proved that he can be a force with the puck on his stick. He has really become a terrific all around player.
The "I Block More Shots Than Captain America's Shield" Award: John-Scott Dickson
There are probably several guys on this team that could make a case for this award, but when it comes to sacrificing one's body to keep a little chunk of vulcanized rubber from passing by, JSD reigns supreme. I don't know how many blocked shots he had this season, but I would imagine it would make Dikembe Mutumbo's jaw drop.
The Banana Peel Award (sponsored by The Three Stooges and old Warner Brothers Cartoons): Andrew Courtney
Courts is capable of doing so many great things on the ice, but have you ever noticed how many times he just........falls? It happens more than you think. It typically gets a good chuckle from the players and media up the press box. It's because he's so great that it is so funny. So much talent, yet such a klutz. I can't help but crack a smile by just typing the words.
The "I Don't Look Like Much, but I'll Destroy You" Award (sponsored by Jason Bourne): Evan Vossen
Voss isn't a man of great stature, but you wouldn't know it just by watching him play. He throws his weight around with the best of them, and this season, he proved he can throw some wicked punches as well. Off the ice, it would seem like it would take a lot to get him fired up, but when he laces up those skates, he's coming after you, so keep your head up. Oh, and there's no award for this, but he may be the best penalty killer in the league. Every team needs a player like Evan Vossen on their team, at least every team that wants to be successful.
The Filthy Sniper Award: Eric Castonguay
A little shake of the shoulder, step into the slot, and hit the roof harder than the crew at CCR Roofing. How many times did we see that sequence this season? If any netminder gave Castonguay even a glimpse of twine behind him, he'd find a way to blister a wrister into it.
The Superhero Action Figure Award: Obi Aduba
The sheer physical appearance of Obi is beyond intimidating. He is built like an action figure, and brings that presence to the ice. So many opponents thought that they had Obi in their crosshairs, lined up for a beautifully placed open-ice hit. Every single one of them ended up on their backs, staring up at a guy who could star in the next installment of the G.I. Joe movies.
The Mr. Clutch Award: Andrew Courtney
Think of the top ten biggest goals scored in the history of the Mavs. Now, how many of those were scored by Courts. 4? 5? 6? I know I poked fun at him earlier, but this guy has a knack for bringing his very best when his team needs it the most. If there's less than a minute on the clock in a tie game, I want the puck on Andrew Courtney's stick.
The Mr. Nice Guy Award (Sponsored by Stuart Smalley): Mike Ramsay
This is kind of a silly category, but there's a reason that Mike Ramsay won the Most Gentlemanly Player Award this season. He might be the nicest person that I've ever met in my life, and I've met a few people. When you talk to Ramsay, he seems genuinely interested in what you have to say. Every time I would interview him after a game, he would stick around and chit-chat long after the microphone was turned off. He reminds me a lot of another Mavs great, one David Simoes. Talking with Ramsay after the games made the losses not so bad, and the wins that much better. Those are the types of guys that are easy too root for on and off the ice.
Game of the Year: The Allen Brawl
I know that I didn't have very nice things to say after this game, and I stand by those statements, but a lot of good came from that game as well. That was the point that you realized that this team was different than any other squad in the organization's history. We heard from the players all season about how close this team is, but it sounded like a line that you hear all the time. It sounded like your typical professional sports cliché. All that it took was Allen crossing the line, and we all quickly realized that it was no cliché, and what we were witnessing was something special.
Moment of the Year: Henrik Odegaard in Sochi
We've all seen the Winter Olympics numerous times, but the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will forever be etched into our brains and hearts. Odegaard had every member of the Orange Army gleaming with pride as he took the ice against the world's best players, representing his home country of Norway. Seeing him share the ice with so many NHL players was so surreal, and I hope you all took a moment to realize how breathtakingly tremendous it was to see one of our boys on the world's biggest stage. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. Not only is that the moment of the year, but it's a moment that will forever live in the history books of this organization.
Rookie of the Year: Anders Franzon
- We've seen a lot of rookie players don the Mavs sweater, and at first it looked like Franzon wouldn't be anything special. Guess what? I was wrong yet again. Sure, Franzon got off to a slow start, but you could see him progress with each game under his belt. He really made his mark in Odegaard's absence, stepping up and playing some big minutes and big shifts for this team. Oh, and he happened to lead all rookie defensemen in scoring.
Offensive Player of the Year: Andrew Courtney
I could have changed the winner of this award just about every week down the final stretch of the regular season. Courts flip-flopped lines a few times this season, and still managed to finish the year with the regular season goals record.
Defensive Player of the Year: Matt Stephenson
He was a finalist for Most Outstanding Defenseman, and if it weren't for Tyler Ludwig of Allen having a career year, Stephenson would have won this award in a landslide. Sure, he didn't put up the sexy offensive numbers that Ludwig did, but you be hard-pressed to find a better shutdown defenseman in the league. He can hit, he can fight, he wins battles in the corners, gives up his body to block shot after shot, clears traffic in front, and he shut down some of the premier players in the league this season. To call Stephenson a rock would be the understatement of the decade.
Most Valuable Player: Shane Owen
I've been having a hard time shaking the image of Shane with his hands on his knees and head slumped after the season-ending defeat. I'm really glad that I decided to write this post tonight, because it made me sit down and think about the dozens of SportsCenter-worthy saves that he somehow managed to make this season. The Mavericks set a team record for wins en route to the Governor's Cup. I'd be willing to bet that at least ten to twelve of those wins were stolen by Owen doing the impossible, making saves that no goalie has any business making. When I first met Shane, we talked about the great line of goalies that have come through this organization. He acknowledged the likes of Nolan, Festa, and the great Charlie Effinger with the utmost respect, but also told me "I'm here to make a name for myself." Mission accomplished Shane. Mission accomplished.