The NHL Awards will be in Vegas for the next three years. I know the traditionalists don’t like that the awards will be taking place in the US, but the nice thing about the awards moving to Las Vegas is that flights to Vegas are almost always very inexpensive. It’s also a great tourist destination, perhaps making it easier for more fans to attend the awards to see their favorites walk the red carpet. Some of the events surrounding the awards are open to the public. Tickets to the actual awards were very expensive, but the red carpet was free and (of course) the players have been seen in and around the casino and hotel by many fans.
There were a lot of fans outside getting pictures and autographs from their favorite NHL stars and I saw a group of girls following Alex Ovechkin around yesterday when I arrived to pick up my credentials. A lot of fans seemed to travel from outside the Vegas area for a vacation including their NHL stars.
Most of the awards presented tonight weren’t particularly surprising. I was a little surprised that some of the awards were won by large margins when I thought they might be a bit less of a blowout, but in the end the winner wins and the runner up doesn’t – whether the runner up was 3 points behind or over 700.
Some of the presenters seemed to have more issues reading their lines than in previous years, but they got through the show.
It was particularly nice to see Tim Thomas win the Vezina Trophy. I’ve never thought Thomas got enough credit for how well he plays and it’s really nice to see him recognized for his amazing performance.
Hopefully, the awards will be advertised a bit better next year and even more fans will be able to make it to Vegas to enjoy the NHL Awards.