Every so often, someone suggests taking a meat cleaver to the few remaining threads between the current incarnation of the National Hockey League and its storied history. With the NHL Awards in Sin City on Thursday night (reminder: Puck Daddy/Japers' Rink party in Arlington, Va.), Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal laments that those award names are just too arcane for mainstream tastes. [H/T Snapshots]
So he'd like to rename them. The Norris Trophy? Call it the Bobby Orr Trophy. The Calder? Just call it the Rookie of the Year Award.
But here's the thing, traditionalist puckheads: No matter how hot your blood is boiling right now, the dude makes a few good suggestions. Like dumping the Lady Byng for the "Gordie Howe Hat Trick Award." And check out his take on the Hart Trophy:
The Hart Memorial Trophy was presented to the NHL in 1923 by the aforementioned good doctor, whose son Cecil was the former coach and manager of the Montreal Canadiens. But, curiously, the trophy is presented each year to the most valuable player in the NHL.
Suggestion: Rename the award after Wayne Gretzky, who won a record nine Hart Trophies. The award could be called "The Great One."
We're not sure if turning the NHL MVP into that season's "Great One" is blasphemous or genius.
The Pros for Changing Award Names: More accessibility for casual fans; the chance to honor the stars that changed the Game over the last 30 years rather than in the early 1900s; and hey, the media will no longer have to write "The Art Ross Trophy, given to the player who yadda yadda yadda."
The Cons for Changing Award Names: Besides the fact that they're unique and cool, just look at that photo up top. Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils won an award last year with the same name as the one Terry Sawchuk won for the Detroit Red Wings in 1955. The guy giving him the trophy? Clarence Campbell, now know as Western Conference.
So with that said ... Pass or Fail: Modernizing the names for some (or all) of the NHL Awards.