Vancouver Canucks fans can vote on the team awards for the 2021-’22 season up until midnight on Tuesday, April 26th. The four fan-vote categories and awards include:
The Cyclone Taylor Trophy for the Vancouver Canucks most valuable player.
There are only two potential correct answers to this one. It’s Thatcher Demko or JT Miller pure and simple. Quinn Hughes had an excellent year for the most part and was a minute muncher but not to MVP levels. Elias Pettersson got a late start.
It’s a two-horse race and Demko is my winner.
The Pavel Bure Award for most exciting Vancouver Canucks player is also a two-person contest in my opinion, for two different reasons. Miller scored some huge goals, three overtime winners and six game winning goals overall, but Conor Garland is a freak show of entertainment. His one-man cycles are a thing to behold.
Pettersson will get some chatter but again, one must keep the entire season in mind.
As important as JT was to the hockey club scoring-wise and while his big moments were plentiful, Garland on most nights was literally worth the price of admission. My potentially offensive ‘circus monkey’ moniker wasn’t far off. Dude is a circus, in the old fashioned wonderful way.
Garland is my winner.
Alrightee then, now we move on to a bit more of an open field. The Babe Pratt Trophy for best Vancouver Canucks defenceman. It might be easy to say bingo, give it to Hughes. Great break-outs, minute muncher, and he played in all situations, but I’d be a bit more open in this category to hearing arguments for Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
OK, so I guess it is a two-horse race again. Hughes is my winner.
There was some surprise value in this not-so-deep D-corps at times, including the team’s most improved blue-liner from the start of the season Tyler Myers. Brad Hunt was fun, surprisingly creative, and Kyle Burroughs is a banger. The later three aren’t “best D” candidates, but good on ’em for providing some solid play and entertainment at times.
Finally the Vancouver Canucks unsung hero award, named after Fred J. Hume, the Hockey Hall of Famer and former mayor of Vancouver who helped bring the Canucks to town.
I’m open to all arguments. This criteria is the loosest, broadest, and can incorporate the big picture or acute instances of heroism and team play.
Me? I’m going Luke Schenn. As the game gets softer in ways, it was nice to have an old school banger, fighter, stick-up-for your goalie and teammates kind of guy on the backend. Burroughs and OEL showed similar characteristics back there, but “Shenner” brought it pretty much every night.
If your likely D-man of the year is Hughes, then Schenn is your unsung here. “Huggy” enjoyed some protection back there.
Up front there’s a slew of candidates that help make this list a bit fat. I’ll leave that to you. Vasily Podkolzin with will get some talk, but remember, he’s “Johnny-come-lately” this season after struggling for a bulk of it finding his game and all 200 feet of the ice. Alex Chiasson was a quarter of the season player as well.
I’m not sure of the width of the scope of this award, or the interpretation. In one way Bo Horvat could win it, in another, so could Hunt.
The Vancouver Canucks also hand out three more awards that are a bit more cut-and-dry and/or behind the scenes. The non-fan-vote honours are:
The Three-Star Award for the cumulative number of post-game star awards at Rogers Arena. I reckon it’s Demko or Miller.
The Cyrus H. McLean Trophy for the team’s leading scorer; that’ll be Miller. It’s named after the former president of the Western League Canucks.
Then there’s the Daniel and Henrik Sedin Award for Vancouver Canucks Community Leadership. I’m looking forward to hearing the details about the winner of this one.