The 2016/17 ENS Oilers Awards
Hello. Glad you all could make it. I’d like to welcome you all to the third annual ENS Oilers Awards, presented by ENS. Unfortunately, these awards mark the end of our 2016/17 campaign, but what a year it was. Sure, that game 7 loss still stings, but this was one hell of a statement year by the boys. And the fellas deserve to be recognized for all they achieved (or, didn’t achieve… cc: Dallas Eakins Award).
Here are the awards that didn’t quite crack the rundown, because they’re super self-explanatory and whatever:
Paul Coffey Award for Best Defenseman: Oscar Klefbom
Glen Sather Award for Best Coach: Todd McLellan
Grant Fuhr Award for Best Goalie: Cam Talbot
Ty Conklin Award for Worst Goalie: Jonas Gustavsson
Now then, let’s go:
Nail Yakupov Memorial Award(s) for the All-ENS Team
Longggggggg gone are the days where we forced Hank to login and do a game day blog for the 29th place Oilers playing the 22nd place Carolina Hurricanes in a mid-February showdown on a mother fucking Wednesday. Like the Oilers, Hank’s unprecedented ability to mail it in led him to do some pretty unimaginable shit. And while Oilers would trade value for Jerred Smithson, Hank found closure in a hopeless place — irrational Nail Yakupov predictions. Yak is gone, but his spirit will always live on at ENS, and that’s what this one’s all about. Here are the five recipients of the inaugural Nail Yakupov Memorial Award for the All-ENS Team:
F – Connor McDavid
F – Zack Kassian
F – Jesse Puljujarvi
F – Tony Slepyshev
D – Matt Benning
Not sure how many we predicted Connor to finish with this year but I’d assume it’s right up there with the 102 goals Hank predicted Nail would score back in 2014/15. For as long as he’s an Oiler, Daddy will forever be enshrined on this list.
Kassian cleaned up the 2016/17 ENS Oilers Awards, as you will see, and rightfully so. He was the sparkplug we needed this year. Yes, it’s nice to have Connor slice through ankles on a day-to-day basis, but having that one wildcard who looks like he’ll kill someone for just looking at him the wrong way was sort of refreshing this year. Never once questioned Zack’s work ethic, his love for this fan base, or his desire to win games. And nobody had more goals disallowed this year than Zack the Maniac. Guy’s earned his contract extension, just like he’s earned a spot on the All-ENS team.
Anton Slepyshev brought Tony Time four times in the regular season and three more times in the playoffs. We love Tony Time. It’s our favourite time. Now for the love of Connor get that guy in the lineup more than 41 times next year.
As if Matty Vegas wouldn’t make our list. One day, next year, the Oil will win the Stanley Cup, and Matty will bring that holy grail back to St. Albert, and our gold-paved streets will shine just a little bit brighter.
Todd Marchant Award for Play of the Year
Winner: Zack Kassian (Arizona)
Kassian’s Mona Lisa. It’ll never stop being funny. Zack Kassian flew in on a direct flight from the moon to piledrive Oliver Ekman-Larsson into the boards, auto shed, and fire a right-handed bullet into Anthony Duclair’s… all at the same time. Zack’s out there TKOing two players at once and I have trouble brushing my teeth while I piss. Watch Duclair literally skate into that haymaker like such a goddamn numbskull. Shattered his face. What an idiot!
This play also produced possibly the greatest image in Oilers history:
Steve Smith Award for Worst Play
Winner: Cam Talbot, red line goal (Sabres)
It wouldn’t be an Oilers season without at least one of our goalies letting one in from Fort Mac. We were 2-0 until this game, then got shelled for six by Eichel’s Sabres, and I guarantee we all thought, “Shit, here come the Oilers.” Then the miracle of life took over. Cam’s twins were born like I think literally hours after this game ended, and with them came the birth of the Iceman. He channeled all that newfound dad strength into the greatest season in Oilers goaltending history.
And don’t worry, we’d get Jack back for that…
Brad Winchester Award for Power Move of the Year
Winner: Connor setting up Leon in the final game of the year to knock Jack Eichel out of a $2 million bonus
Remember those old Rogers commercials? The one where the one dude with shitty coverage kept getting owned by the other, sharper looking dude?
This guy’s Eichel:
And the much more fortunate guy is Connor. Oh, you beat us twice, Jack? We’ll just take a $2 million bonus away from you. You’ll never win, Jack. Not once. Not in a million years. Might as well sign in Switzerland.
Sheldon Souray Award for “Why We Payin’ You All That Money?”
Winner: Jordan Eberle
Two years ago, Ebs won the Gretzky Award for Most Outstanding Player. Oh how things change. Jordan Eberle is the poster child for the for the old saying, “what have you done for me lately?” After years of dazzling dekes and clutch Canada goals and ATB commercials, Jordan Eberle’s Oilers career may have come to a crashing hault in 2016/17. If this is it, I just wanted to say thank you for sticking through all those piss awful years in Oil Country. I know they weren’t easy. You scored 20 or more goals in all but one of your six full seasons in Edmonton, and I wish you nothing but the best in whatever city you play for next. You represented Edmonton and Canada well, and I appreciate that. Never forget that Vandermeer pass:
…which led to this thing of beauty:
All the best, Ebs.
Connor McDavid Award for Rookie of the Year
Winner: Matt Benning
The inaugural Connor McDavid Award for Rookie of the Year goes out to the pride of St. Vegas, Matty Vegas. This was probably the closest ballot (other than the Gator’s Grinder of the Year) because I know that you all know that my favourite time is Tony Time, and Slepy was so great this year. But Matty stepped up when nobody outside of the T8N really knew anything about him, and he never looked back. Guy looked like he belonged right from the beginning. Let’s remember the time he decked the halls with Nathan MacKinnon:
Making us proud, Matty B.
I couldn’t find a picture of Matt from his St. Albert days (sad), but here’s his brother, Mike, dangling some MLAC goalie into the parking lot:
What a town, St. Albert forever.
Steve McIntyre Award for Physical Assault
Winner: Zack Kassian’s Entire Game 2 Against San Jose
Close runner up was the Big Rig beating Brandon Manning senseless. If it was any other year, we would have been mathematically eliminated by Martin Luther King Day, and Zack wouldn’t have had the bonus time to steamroll his way through the Sharks playoff roster. But this wasn’t any other year, and Zack used his bonus time appropriately. Kass already has THREE pieces of hardware from the ENS Oilers Awards, for those keeping score at home.
Zack Stortini Award for Hug of the Year
Winners: Connor McDavid & Patrick Maroon
“It’s so damn beautiful!!!!!” – Chazz Reinhold
Smytty’s Last Game Award for Moment of the Year
Winner: Jesse obliterating a pizza
Normally we have like one or two moments to pick from, but this year, there were quite a few. For example, there was the moment we clinched our first playoff birth in 11 years, or the Rogers Place dance parties, or anything Magoo ever did. But it’s really no contest. The best moment, by a damn landslide, was Jesse video-bombing Connor’s interview in the only way that he knows how: by single-handedly putting the entire species of pizza right next to the Chinese alligator on the critically endangered list. Guy might not be able to speak or understand practical English, but my god he can put back a slice. And just like that slice of pie, Connor had no hope.
Fernando Pisani Award for Most Outstanding Player in the Playoffs
Winner: Leon Draisaitl
This one comes to you as a write-in ballot from our Facebook commentators (shoutout to Jarvis and Geordan… legit though, sorry boys, we’re still in playoff preseason mode over here at ENS, and it’s unfamiliar territory to say the least). But as they were quick to point out, we should have an award for the best player in the playoffs. Named after Lord Fernando “Conn Smythe” Pisani himself, I’m proud to present the first of what will be two decades worth of playoff performer awards to King Leonidis Draisaitl, PhD, Killing Ducks. Leon’s hatty was one of many highlights from the 77 point now-RFA player’s postseason, and is in all likelihood destined to make a shit lot of money this summer. Here he is going ballistic with a healthy crew of All-ENS players:
Wayne Gretzky Award for Most Outstanding Player
In about one month, Connor will be accepting his Hart Trophy Award for NHL MVP, as voted by the PHWA. Good chance he’s getting the Ted Lindsay Award as well, as voted by his peers. Today, he accepts the illustrious Wayne Gretzky Award for Most Outstanding Player, as voted by ENS. Connor cleaned up the MOP of the game awards in our Morning After Blogs this year. Talbot was really the only one who was close, and he still finished 11 votes behind Daddy for the title. What a goddamn year, Connor. Can’t wait to watch this for eternity (for about 20 more years).
Jason Smith Award for Gator’s Grinder of the Year
Winners: Zack Kassian and Patrick Maroon
A tie. Just the way Gator would have wanted it. Yes, our first ever Jason Smith Award for Gator’s Grinder of the Year is being handed to not one, but BOTH of the Bash Brothers. Both players picked up 14 GGG votes during our 82 game regular season, meaning 34% of our games ended in either Kass or Maroon being the grinder of the game. I wouldn’t want it any other way. The bashing has only begun. Let him eat:
And let him… do whatever he wants:
Dallas Eakins Award for Worst Coach of the Year…
Winner: Jordan Eberle’s shooting coach
From the summer:
Jordan Eberle can score but he wants to score more.
So, he hired a shooting coach this summer, not so much to work on his one-timer, which isn’t his strong-suit, but just getting into areas to score. He wants to get back to the 34-goal season of 2011-2012 years ago, so is working with hockey’s “Shot Doc,” Ron Johnson from Vancouver.
Not sure what Ronny Johnson’s return policy is but I’d definitely at least consider hiring a lawyer if I was Jordan Eberle. Ron had literally ONE job. All we asked was he teach an already multi-time 20 goal scorer how to shoot the puck a bit better. Maybe teach him a one-timer? Maybe show him where to go to pick up an extra goal or two? God knows we could have used that in the playoffs. But nope. Instead, Ronald “Dany Ocean” Johnson hustled J-Ebs out of God knows how much money so he could score a grand total of zero goals in 13 playoff games. Never trust a man from Vancouver, Jordan. That’s on you bud.