Voice Over: THANK YOU FOR COMING TO THE 2011-2012 CAROLINA HURRICANES AWARDS SHOW. PLEASE WELCOME YOUR HOST JOHN FORSLUND!
John rises from the center of the stage as the lights slowly come up. “Noise” is playing in the background.
John: Wow. Thank you all for that great reception! I cannot believe that another hockey season has come and gone. It’s been a crazy year hasn’t it folks? We’ve had injuries, trades, surprises, surprise trades…
Yeah we’re still not sure how JR managed to pull that one off. Speaking of JR, let’s give him a round of applause for stepping outside his comfort zone to negotiate mid-season with Tim Gleason and Tuomo Ruutu?
Now maybe he’ll draft someone in the first round who’s tall enough to ride Splash Mountain!
I may tease the kids, but they really are doing an outstanding job aren’t they folks? We’re seeing a youth movement on the Hurricanes and the future is looking bright. Unless you’re Jeff and then everything may still look a little fuzzy.
Crowd groans.Oh stop. He’s alright now, if not a tad over aggressive. Of course fighting him is probably only second in laughs to fighting a wet kitten.
Crowd laughs in spite of themselves.
Skinner wasn’t the only one changing this year. Part-way through the season, this team underwent possibly the largest change in the hockey world…taking Derek Joslin from defenseman glued to the press box to forward glued to the bench.
Crowd laughs uncomfortably.
Finally, Justin Faulk has done a great job adjusting to the bright lights of the NHL hasn’t he folks?
Applause and cheering
And then in December, he had to adjust to the bright lights of his coach’s new highlights!
Alright, alright. Enough with the jokes. It really is a great privilege to be here as your hosts for the 2011-2012 Carolina Hurricanes Awards show, isn’t it Tripper?
Silence. John looks around the stage for Tripp, who is nowhere to be found.
Tripp: I’m coming!
Tripp comes rushing out from the side of the stage in full goalie gear.
John: Wow Tripp. That’s quite the red carpet look…
Tripp: John, don’t be silly. I’m just getting ready for next year’s Alumni Game.
John: Of course. That was quite the event wasn’t it?
Tripp: It was! Even for a former netminder like myself, I was amazed at the skill level out there on the ice. The goalies had to make some big saves to keep their team in it.
John: Don’t be so modest Tripp. You know that you played an excellent game.
Tripp: Oh well…yes. Yes I did. But even my best save doesn’t come close to this year’s nominees for Save of the Year. Let’s a take a look at them:
Tripp opens envelope carefully, with his blocker and catcher still on.
Tripp: And the winner is…the third period glove save against Keith Ballard!
Tripp: Cam had quite a year didn’t he John?
John: Oh definitely and not just on the ice. People always say goalies are quirky or strange, but I think this year Cam showed us that goalies are also capable of providing the Quote of the Year.
Applause and laughter.
Jamie McBain stands at the center of the stage.
Jamie McBain: Thank you so much for having me here today to present the award for worst stac…
Jamie looks startled and blinks rapidly.
I mean…uh. There’s a saying that clothes don’t make the man, but the same can’t be said for hair. I myself take great pride in my ‘do as do this year’s nominees for best hair.
And the winner is…my Clairol buddy: Kirk Muller!
John is shown staring at the screen, transfixed. Tripp nudges him and John jumps.
John: Oh sorry about that folks. I was just mesmerized by Muller’s highlights…hey don’t blame me. Even Riley Nash couldn’t look away.
Tripp, you’ve had highlights before haven’t you?
Tripp: I have. But I’ll tell you what I haven’t had Johnny. I’ve never had the privilege of winning the Carolina Hurricanes’ Brightest Star Award, not even during my cup of coffee in the NHL.
John: I know Tripper. But we do have a winner this year. So let’s welcome last year’s winner, Jeff Skinner, to present the award.
Jeff Skinner walks onto the stage amid much screaming.
Jeff Skinner: Thanks.
Gives a self-conscious wave and smiles.
It’s a real special thing for me to be here tonight to present the Brightest Star Award. It was a real special moment winning it last year en route to my Calder Trophy win. Being a rookie in the NHL is not easy as you adjust to the speed of the game. This year one player stood out above all others. He put up 22 points and was a solid component on the D-corps through 66 games.
Congratulations to this year’s Brightest Star…Justin Faulk.
Applause. Jeff sneaks off stage before the girls in the front row can get past the security guards.
John is standing on the right of the stage.
John: Let’s thank Jeff one more time for being here this evening!
Applause and some squealing. John rolls his eyes and mutters something about understanding Staal now.
The game of hockey has changed so much since I’ve been a part of it. Players have gotten bigger, faster and thanks to the power of social media, more connected to their fans. This year, more players signed up for Twitter than ever before, much to the delight of the Caniacs. It is why a new award has been added to our show…the Best Twitter Presence Award and, as a fellow member of the Twitter, it is my pleasure to present it to one of our great (and verbose) nominees. Let’s see their nominations in, staying true to the spirit of Twitter, 140 characters or less.
@EhStew13 Meh. Babies. Stormwin. Pass it to Bullis. Pets doing yoga. Coolville. Woooo!
@JustinFaulk27 Flow. Retweets. UMD. Pools. Golf.
@Brenter37 Hunting. Fishing. Golfing. Complete sentences.
@TrippTracy Sideburns to his ankles. Twitpics. Quick stories. Rookie. Enthusiasm. No spaces.
And the winner is….Tripp Tracy!
Crowd claps tentatively as Tripp comes rushing from backstage.
Tripp: Oh! You like me! You really really like me!
John: Yeah they do Tripp, let’s move along to the next award alright?
Tripp: Sure Johnny, but I just want to tell a quick story.
John and the audience groans
I wasn’t sure about the whole Twitter thing, but my good friend John Forslund talked me into it. Then great guys like Jamie McBain, Justin Faulk, Tim Brent and Anthony Stewart showed me the ropes. I have loved interacting with the greatest fans in the NHL via Twitter and look forward to next year!
Tripp smiles as the crowd cheers.
John: Wow Tripper. Thanks for those kind words. It’s true Twitter is a great thing and we have a lot of really interesting personalities from the Hurricanes taking part in the trend. One of those personalities is actually the winner of this year’s Best Worst Stache Award.
Whooo boy that is bad.
Tripp: Yup. You have to admire Derek Joslin’s willingness to participate when he had really no chance at growing a decent stashe.
John: I cannot believe that someone managed to a stache worse than Brandon’s…but wow. He did it.
John and Tripp chuckle at the absurdity of Joslin’s stache.
Tripp is standing at center stage.
And the winner is…Cam Ward’s first-career NHL goal against New Jersey!
Applause and cheering.
Chuck Kaiton: CongratstoCamWardonhisaward. Hehadquiteaseasonthisyearbutnotasgoodasthisyear’sbreakoutstarawardwinner. PuttingupcareernumbersingamesplayedandpointsandcomplimentingEricStaalonthetopline,JiriTlustyisthisyear’sBreakoutStar!
Crowd claps. A pair of boxer shorts lands on the stage. Chuck looks at them, befuddled, and walks off stage. John replaces him, kicks the boxers off the edge of the stage and shuffles a few feet to the right.
Tripp is standing at center stage.
Tripp: My position as a broadcaster gives me the opportunity to become a bit of expert in many things about the game. But I don’t need to work in hockey to be an expert in this next award category. A bromance is a common occurrence in the locker rooms of the NHL and the Hurricanes’ locker room is no exception. Last year Jeff Skinner and Eric Cole’s May-December bromance captured our hearts. This year Anthony Stewart and Cam Ward’s post-game affection captured our…nightmares. Congratulations to Stewart and Ward for winning Bromance of the Year!
Laughter. Applause. Some members of the audience re-enact the Cam-Stewie bounce.
Voice Over: STAY TUNED FOR BEST HIT, BEST GOAL CELEBRATION, AND MOMENT OF THE YEAR!
John is wiping a tear from his eye.
John: I’m not sure if I’m crying because I’m sad I lost or because I’m laughing so hard at Brandon’s impression of Chuck. If we gave away an award for Best Impression, he’d win. That was so frightening it was funny.
Brandon Sutter and Chad LaRose:
And the winner is…Bryan Allen!
Goal horn goes off. Crowd cheers wildly.
John: Oh boy. Bryan may never live that one down. But such a great moment for him-none more deserving of a big goal than him. There were a lot of great moments this year, despite the way the season turned out. But in my mind, and in the minds of our esteemed voters, one moment stood out from the rest. In a season full of peaks and valleys, this player likely faced the highest of highs one night against St. Louis. Congratulations to Cam Ward for winning Moment of the Year.
What a moment for Cam Ward: saying “no” 40 times to get to his 200th win. And then just a few games later, he becomes the franchise leader in shutouts with 21. Outstanding. Carolina is lucky to have him as a goaltender. Am I right ladies and gentlemen?
Crowd goes crazy.
Tripp joins John on stage but neither can speak because the crowd is still cheering.
Tripp: As a former netminder, I cannot over stress the importance of having a tough guy in front of you to block shots, clear the crease and make people think twice about taking an extra shot at you. That player is oftentimes considered the team’s Toughest Player.
John: That’s right Tripp. The past three years, Tim Gleason has walked away with this particular nonexistent trophy, but this year a new player has taken the crown. With 188 blocked shots (ranking him 4th league wide) and 111 hits, Bryan Allen is this year’s Toughest Player!
John and Tripp look behind them and can’t help but giggle.
Voice Over: AFTER THE BREAK, OUR FINAL TWO AWARDS: BEST HIT AND TEAM MVP!
Tuomo Ruutu stands on stage. Crowd cheers loudly.
Tuomo Ruutu: Thank you very much for having me here. Good hard hits are the best part of this game in my opinion. In fact, if there’s one thing I love more than reindeer, it’s a good hockey hit. As a former winner of this award, I know the skill and courage it takes to execute a really strong hit. That’s why I’m thrilled to present this year’s Best Hit to Bryan Allen for his excellent body of work.
It’s hard to pick just one hit from his season to highlight, but this one has the added bonus of taking out one of his teammates…hey wait…who wrote this?
Crowd gasps as men in black masks come out and quickly usher Tuomo off stage.
John and Tripp return to the stage.
John: That was odd.
Tripp: Really odd, even for me.
John shrugs. Tripp winks at someone off stage.
John: I can hardly believe the night has gone so quickly, but here we are with one final award to present.
Tripp: It’s arguably the most important award of the night. While this is a team sport, it’s impossible not to recognize individual players whose contributions are outstanding.
John: This year the voting committee had a very tough time sorting out a winner and were actually unable to choose just one player to recognize this evening. Instead, they’ve opted to recognize an entire line.
Tripp: Wow. This is unprecedented, folks. But let me tell you, this group really deserves it. They’ve battled the opponent’s top line all season long, oftentimes holding them scoreless and without a shot on goal. They’ve excelled on the penalty kill wracking up a combined 5 shorthanded goals. They are smart players whose contributions rarely show up on the scoresheet.
John: But they are truly deserving of recognition and that’s why it gives us both great pleasure to announce that this year’s MVP award goes to the combination of the third line!
Brandon Sutter is the anchor of the checking line and his 32 points and three shorthanded goals have led the way for the team’s forwards on defense. His heady play is complimented by linemate Patrick Dwyer who put up 12 points, two shorthanded goals and finished at an even plus/minus for the year. Adreas Nodl, Drayson Bowman, Jiri Tlusty and Chad LaRose all made appearances on the line throughout the season and contributed to a tough night for the top stars of the league. Congratulations to these guys for their outstanding work this year!
Tripp: Yippee! What a great show John!
John: It was a great show and season, Tripp. As always, it was an honor working with you this season and it was a privilege to call so many games on behalf of the greatest fans in the league! Thank you ladies and gentlemen! See you next year!
John and Tripp leave the stage as the crowd cheers wildly.