Photo Expedition: The NHL awards take a Vegas vacation

(Ed. Note: Thanks for a great week. Contest winners announced over the weekend, as well as other news and nuggets.)

Uh, it appears Hii'd like to play ...

Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was one of dozens of players, officials and quasi-celebrity fans who invaded Las Vegas this week for the NHL Awards. Or as we like to call them: Those who chose not to attend the Puck Daddy/Japers' Rink Awards Viewing Party at Bailey's in Arlington last night. (Flickr gallery here).

Coming up, a brief look at some of the goofy sights from the NHL's trip to Sin City; the first of three years in which the awards will be in Vegas. Our advice: More showgirls, less Chaka. Oh, and we've seen enough "Battlestar" to know that there are many, many copies of Tricia Helfer; hire them all as presenters next year.

Now, on to the photo expedition ...

And here ... we ... go.

Here is the aforementioned Tricia Helfer, posing with the worst Conan O'Brien impersonator in Vegas. The only way her appearance on the NHL Awards show would have been more welcome is if they had a tiny Brian Gionta rappel down her cascades of blonde mane.

Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks and eye candy. We mean the tie. No, we mean the colorful video screen with the dude from The Fray on it. Eh, whatever ... we're just happy to see Roberto somewhere other than crying in the locker room or anonymously featured on The Weather Channel.

Onlookers were stunned when charity poker champ Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers accidently shook his hair and out fell 10 aces, four kings, three queens, a jack, a flask of whiskey and a small revolver.

Poker ace Daniel Negreanu and TV's Eddie Olczyk meet before the awards, getting along fine before Olczyk awkwardly inserts the phrase "he has an active stick" into casual conversation.

Max Talbot and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, after being asked how many more Stanley Cups they've won than Marian Hossa.

"HA HA HA HA ... no, seriously, these awards are great and all, but I need you to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and keep them operating in Glendale at a loss. OK Maloof?"

The NHL tests out revolutionary new technologies in an effort to finally keep the Cup out of Mario's pool should the Penguins win again.

Zdeno Chara gets on his knees and poses with his Boston Bruins teammates and coach.

The NHL Awards take the stage at Rain nightclub at The Palms during the afterparty. The image was captured moments before the Lady Byng started stripping for the crowd while dancing inside a cage. (You had no idea what "gentlemanly" really meant, did you?)

"Have you been involved in an accident and wish to make a personal injury claim? Have you been the victim of fraud or medical malpractice? Then call me, Masterton winner Steve Sullivan, at 1-800 ..."

Finally, we've got three for this one:

A. Alex Ovechkin hovers over his awards before the Hart Trophy opens up and an alien face-hugger shoves an ovipositor down his throat.

B. Alex Ovechkin discovers that the Hart Trophy can double as a vodka luge.

C. Alex Ovechkin poses with this postseason hardware. Not pictured: The Prince of Wales Trophy, the Conn Smythe and the Stanley Cup.

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