The NHL in 2009 – Part One

With 2009 coming to a close and with 2010 bringing a new year of hockey highlights and moments, I thought it’d be a good idea to take a look back at some of the things that took place in the 2009 calendar year in the NHL.

It should be pointed out that the months of January-June 2009 are the end of the 2008-2009 season.

JANUARY 2009:

-The Winter Classic took place on New Years Day @ Wrigley Field in Chicago. The game drew 40,818 fans who saw the Detroit Red Wings defeat the Chicago Black Hawks 6 to 4. Gotta love those jerseys! Note: Chris Chelios didn’t warm up because he is bad ass.

-The 2008/09 season was a milestone season for the Montreal Canadiens as they celebrated their 100th anniversary. Although not much has happened for the Habs in nearly 20 years, they still remain the league’s version of the NY Yankees. The city of Montreal hosted the 2009 NHL All-Star Game which saw the Western Conference defeat the Eastern Conference 12-11 and Habs favorite (depending on how fickle the fans were feeling) Alexei Kovalev was named the MVP.

FEBRUARY 2009:

– 3 coaches were fired during this month as the Senators realized that they had no business hiring Craig Hartsburg in the first place, the Penguins fired Michel Therrien, and Tom Renney was sent packing by the NY Rangers.

-The Kiss Cam gag was very popular throughout NHL arenas during this month as well.

MARCH 2009:

– Did YOUR arena offer green beer?

– The Canadiens continued to celebrate their centennial year by firing head coach Guy Carbonneau, who was later spotted at a bar comparing the reasons he hates Montreal with Michel Therrien.

– Martin Brodeur took time off from being injured to come back and surpass Patrick Roy’s all-time winning record for a goaltender with his 551st victory. Brodeur later commented that no matter what his accomplishments are, he’d never be able to fit his Stanley Cup rings into his ears like Patrick did.

– The trade deadline came and went.

APRIL 2009:

– The entire hockey world celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the final NHL regular season game that was broadcast on the Fox Network. Thanks for nothing, Rupert!

MAY 2009:

– The NHL’s dirty laundry was aired when it was revealed that the league had taken control of the Phoenix Coyotes before the start of the 2008-2009 season due to the franchise losing money hand-over-first. It was estimated that the Coyotes had lost $73 million over the previous 3 seasons. This, of course, was shocking news because Phoenix is a hockey hotbed.

JUNE 2009:

– More head coaches hit the bricks. Dave Tippet was fired by the Dallas Stars and Tony Granato was also fired (AGAIN!) by the Colorado Avalanche. Granato stayed on as assistant coach (AGAIN!) and is expected to be named head coach (AGAIN!) some time before anyone realizes that he no longer works for the Av’s.

– The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in 7 games to win the Stanley Cup for the 3rd time in franchise history. When not laughing at Marian Hossa, Pens fans were able to rejoice the taste of sweet revenge as the Penguins had lost to the Red Wings in the previous Cup Finals. Evgeni Malkin was named the Conn Smyth Trophy winner as the playoff MVP.

– NHL Award Awards took place in FABULOUS Las Vegas, Nevada. These were the results:

Presidents’ Trophy: San Jose Sharks
Prince of Wales Trophy: Pittsburgh Penguins
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl: Detroit Red Wings
Art Ross Trophy: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy: Steve Sullivan, Nashville Predators
Calder Memorial Trophy: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Conn Smythe Trophy: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Frank J. Selke Trophy: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Hart Memorial Trophy: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Jack Adams Award: Claude Julien, Boston Bruins
James Norris Memorial Trophy: Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Ethan Moreau, Edmonton Oilers
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Lester B. Pearson Award: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
NHL Plus/Minus Award: David Krejci, Boston Bruins
Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
William M. Jennings Trophy: Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez, Boston Bruins
Lester Patrick Trophy: Mark Messier, Mike Richter and Jim Devellano
NHL Lifetime Achievement Award: Jean Beliveau

– The 2009 NHL draft was held in Montreal (due to the whole anniversary thing). With the #1 pick the NYI selected John Tavares. Who may very well end up winning the Calder Trophy.

July – December will come next time!

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