Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Someone's gotta do it: DBJ's crowdsourced ballot for the 2011 NHL Awards

Click on the shield to nominate NHL players for
end of the season awards
If you haven't gathered, there's been a bit of a flareup in the hockey writing community.  The Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA), the group of media types who get to cover the beats for their respective NHL teams, has seen a number of members and "chapters" (presumably a chapter is geographically-related, meaning that a given chapter will cluster around a given team), boycotting their NHL-granted privilege of voting for the 2011 NHL awards.

This all stems out of the excommunication of blogger Chris Botta by the New York Islanders.  I could write a whole other post on the Botta expulsion from the Islanders' locker room, but instead I'll just let you click on the above link and Google around.  Suffice to say that it's never a good idea to go to war with those who buy ink by the barrel...even worse when those with whom you are warring are sports writers.

So the PHWA has their knickers in a knot over Botta, and some chapters (largely in/around New York, as the media guys circle the wagon to protect their own) are unilaterally withdrawing from the NHL Awards balloting.  As we learned this morning, the boycott now includes the PHWA's Columbus chapter...which essentially means that the Dispatch writing team joined in.

But who will speak for Columbus with these all-important (tongue firmly in cheek) awards?  I submit that if the Professional Hockey Writers don't want to do it, then the ticket-buying public should.

So let's get started.

Click here to head over to the DBJ Facebook page and submit your nominations for the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, Calder Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy and Selke Trophy.

Nominations will stay open for through the end of the Blue Jackets final 2010-2011 regular season game with Buffalo.  At that point, I'll compile the nominations into ballots on the page and open the voting for a period of 7 days.  Upon closing of the vote, I'll announce the official Dark Blue Jacket ballot for the NHL Awards and will ship it off to Commissioner Bettman.

Now remember, CBJ fans, this is about the finest NHL players across the entire league...not just those inside the I-270 beltway.  And even if you're not a Blue Jackets fan, you're welcome to nominate and vote.  It's all in fun!

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