If (hopefully when) this season gets rolling the Flyers will no doubt hand out their team awards as they do at the conclusion of every season. Below are my predictions on the upcoming end of season awards. These predictions arise out of boredom with the NHL and the NHLPA’s square dance. They are based off of last season’s performances along with some measure of predictions to how their play will be this upcoming season.
Bobby Clarke Trophy (Team MVP)
I can see the best player on the team being the best player on the team again next season. I believe the 92 point season he put on display for us last season is a pattern he will keep up for plenty more years. His leadership role grew by leaps and bounds last season. He is well on his way to becoming a perennial Bobby Clarke trophy winner.
Barry Ashbee Trophy (Outstanding Defensemen)
This is a tough call. Real tough call. Although my pick is not someone completely out of the box there will no doubt be many detractors from this idea. I believe this is the year Braydon Coburn steps up for 82 games plus the playoffs. During the season he will make his presence felt though by anchoring the Flyers D. I think he will be physical all year long and he will also be a boost for the team offensively from the blue line. Most importantly though I think he will be a rock defensively.
Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy (Most Improved Player)
All of Luke Schenn’s problems he had in Toronto will be forgotten and he will mesh well with the veteran defensemen on our blueline. I think he is going to have a great bounce back season. I do not expect him to lead the D in points or blocks or any category, but I think he will play solid defensively and play a part on the powerplay.
Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award
Talbot has a lock on this net year. He is a hit with the media (the writers pick these awards) and is a great ambassador for the game itself. Jagr, who was the media’s darling last year, won this award at the end of last season. Talbot has the same type of personality and is very friendly to the media.
Gene Hart Memorial Award (Most Heart)
It will most likely come down to last year’s winner Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell. The Wayne Train will have another great season, but I think Hartsy edges him because he has grit and will also pot almost 40 again. Simmer will probably end up with 25 or so. Hartnell is a fan’s dream because he is edgy and can finish. Playing on a line with G doesn’t hurt either. He has one of the league’s elite passers on his line and he takes full advantage of it. The fans love him and since this award is voted on by the Flyers fan club I say he’s got the inside track.
He’s a red hot point producer entering the prime of his career. He will continue to put up big numbers and easily lead the team in points again next season.