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Saturday, April 10, 2010

1st Annual SSH Awards

I will be the first to admit that the 2009-2010 season was one full of hope at the start, a little frustration in the middle, and a lot of disappointment at the end. There were so many dark spots this year that it is very hard to pick out the bright spots, but that is where I come in. For the sake of fun and entertainment I came up with a little award show for Sunshine State Hockey that honors just the Florida Panthers.

Lets begin.

The Scott Mellanby award (Team MVP) - Tomas Vokoun

What is there to say about Vokoun that hasn't been said already? The guy gave the Panthers a chance to win every night he played. T-Vo had some tough games this season, none tougher than the Phoenix game just a couple weeks ago, but most of the losses in his L column can hardly be blamed on him.

Sadly I have a feeling that the 2009-2010 season will be the last we see Tomas in a Panthers jersey. I think with all of the goaltending prospects being signed, and the strong play of Clemmensen at the end of the season, Vokoun will be shipped out for some much needed offensive help. Either way, I couldn't think of a player more deserving of the MVP award than Tomas.

The Branislav Mezei Award (Team LVP) - Kamil Kreps

What does LVP stand for you might ask? It's pretty simple actually. The Branislav Mezei award is awarded to the Panthers LEAST valuable player. I could not think of a more deserving candidate than Mr. Invisible himself, Kamil Kreps. The "Kreper" was hands down the worse player on the Florida Panthers roster this year. Heck, the guy hasn't been relevant since the 2007-2008 season.

It boggles the mind as to why Kreps is still on the Panthers and not in the KHL with the rest of the NHLs rejects.

The Pavel Bure Award (Best Forward) - Stephen Weiss

Weisser said that he was disappointed in his 14 goal season during the 2008-2009 campaign, and he said he was going to do something about it. Well, he sure did do something about it. Stephen has posted a career high 28 goals and is only two points away from tying his career high in points that he set a year ago. Weiss has been solid for the Panthers this year and provided much needed scoring with the absence of David Booth. With Booth hopefully healthy next year and Weiss putting up these kinds of numbers, the Panthers offense might just be okay.

The Robert Svehla Award (Best Defenseman) - Bryan McCabe

Caber did not put up a lot of goals this season, but he made up for that with solid D and a solid amount of assists. Bryan has also been a solid captain for the Cats this season, both on and off the ice. McCabe is a solid competitor and seems to be getting better with age.

The Kristian Huselius Award (Rookie of the Year) - Dmitry Kulikov

Kulikov came out of the gate weak in his first game against the Hurricanes, but after that the Russian born defenseman never looked back. Dmitry hardly made any mistakes after that game, but when he did they were not rookie mistakes, but rather the same that any veteran D-man would make. Not to mention he was pretty solid at recovering when these mistakes did happen. Kulikov put up fifteen points in a season where he missed a number of games due to injury. It will be interesting to see what he can do next year if he stays healthy.

The VanMurph Award (Fan of the Year) - Carl Kanas

Those around message boards involving the Panthers know him as CatFan927, but those closer to him, and who have the honor to call him a friend, know him as Carl. Mr. Kanas is at every Florida Panthers home game with his flags flying in the parking lot before every puck drop. Carl is as hardcore of a fan as they come, and has been following the Cats since 1993, and has managed to keep his spirits up even in the worst of times.

So Carl, here's to you buddy. As I said before, it is an honor to be your friend. You make going to the games that much more fun. Without you and the rest of the tailgate crew I am not sure if I would have survived this season.

That will be all for tonight. If you have any comments or questions you can send them to or post them on our facebook page.