Thursday night the NHL decided to take their Awards Show on the road and away from the usual location at the center of the universe, Toronto. Destination - Vegas Baby! Vegas! It had some big stars on hand, unfortunately all the stars were the hockey players and not the entertainment or the presenters. The NHL at least got it right in their choice of host, well it wasn’t so much the NHL but Jeremy Roenick, he’s good. And did a decent job.. As many know, Roenick is not shy behind the mic or in front of the camera but still I was a little disappointed that Gretzky wasn’t there for JR to make his head bleed for superfan-99 overhere.
Where there was a huge drop off was in the show itself. You would think that in Vegas that they would be able to find a celebrity or two, maybe someone good as the entertainment, is that too much to ask? Shaka Khan, seriously? Shaka Khan as your main singer? Weak at best! CSI Producer Jerry Bruckheimer was there as a presenter, could he not have helped or at least been consulted to bring up the production value? Then there is the NHL players themselves, not the most compelling speakers at the best of times. Jean Beliveau was good but the rest all were stiff and looked forced. In the players defence the majority of the winners were Russian’s and their English was not flawless. They did a good job but it was a little rough. That brings us to the more awkward moment. With all the international flavour and majority of Russians who were recipients of awards, presenter Glenn Anderson made a quip that he thought he’d ended up in the wrong place - "down the road at the Russian awards.". It was funny but maybe not the most appropriate thing to say.
This presentation makes a good case to do the awards like the NBA, NFL and MLB and just release the name and give them an award in person and not try to make it a sceptical. For example, until the MLB EA Sports Game commercial with Dustin Pedroia, last years AL MVP, I had no Idea what that award even looked like.