I've been in Las Vegas since last Friday night and have yet to get myself into any serious trouble. I have heard a rumor that Commissioner Gary Bettman is in town but he has evidently told the hotel staff to block all of my calls to his room, just in case I need some financial assistance.
Sauntering into the pool area, I did run into a few of the single hockey players and they seemed to be enjoying themselves in the warm desert sun. Who knows, they could still be there as far as I know.
People here try to be fashion conscious, wearing the hippest styles along with their Elvis sideburns. One such style is a type of hat both females and males are wearing by the dozens. It is a type of fedora; you know, the one Punch Imlach would wear behind the bench when coaching in the NHL. But two things are quite different with this hat.
First-off, the brim is much smaller than the hat I am used too, and secondly, the hat is worn about two sizes smaller than a normal fitted hat. So imagine the younger adult generation walking around Vegas in hats way too small for their heads. Not a good look at all and if I see anyone associated with the NHL wearing the too-small-for-their-head-hat, I will let them know about it.
At a few of the casinos in town, there exists something called a sports book. There you can place a bet on virtually any sporting event in the world, so I decided to ask Johnny Avello, the director of race & sports operations at the Wynn, about some of the odds for the NHL Awards taking place at The Palms Hotel Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN).
The New York Mets and New York Giants fan turned sports book maker sat down with me to give me the favorites for the hardware which will be handed out.
I do want to point out the odds I am posting cannot be bet upon. The Nevada Gaming Commission does not allow bets to be placed on events that are voted on, which all of these NHL awards are. So I guess you can say this is an exclusive look at the NHL Awards.
A look at the Vezina Trophy, Avello sees the favorite as Ryan Miller with odds of 6 to 5, just nosing-out Martin Brodeur at 7 to 5. Ilya Bryzgalov places third with 3 to 1 odds.
It looks like Pavel Datsyuk will win another Frank J. Selke Trophy. Datsyuk comes in at even money, followed by Ryan Kesler at 3 to 2, and Jordan Staal at 4 to 1.
Datsyuk could also be bringing another Lady Byng Memorial Trophy back to Detroit with him. Pavel is listed as 4 to 5, followed by Martin St. Louis at 8 to 5, and Brad Richards at 5 to 1.
The favorite for the Calder Memorial Trophy is Tyler Myers at 3 to 2, with Matt Duchene at 8 to 5, and Jimmy Howard listed as 9 to 5.
In a surprising pick, Johnny has Drew Doughty taking home the James Norris Memorial Trophy. Drew is listed at 6 to 5, followed closely by Duncan Keith at 7 to 5, and Mike Green at 3 to 1.
Dave Tippett is the favorite to win the Jack Adams Award at 5 to 6, followed by Joe Sacco at 6 to 5, and Barry Trotz at 10 to 1.
Drum roll please -- The Hart Memorial Trophy will go to Alex Ovechkin who comes in as the favorite at 1 to 2. He is followed by Henrik Sedin at 3 to 1, and Sidney Crosby at 5 to 1.
While I had Avello's attention, I asked him for an early look at the 2010-11 NHL regular season. His Top 10 to win the Stanley Cup are as follows:
Chicago Blackhawks -- 4/1
Washington Capitals -- 9/2
Pittsburgh Penguins -- 5/1
Detroit Red Wings -- 8/1
San Jose Sharks -- 9/1
Vancouver Canucks -- 11/1
Philadelphia Flyers -- 12/1
Los Angeles Kings -- 15/1
New Jersey Devils -- 18/1
Boston Bruins -- 18/1
There you have it folks, the NHL Awards and next season all wrapped up by me for you. Think of it as my souvenir to you instead of a Las Vegas t-shirt.
Have a great week watching the NHL Awards, then the NHL Entry Draft followed by the UFA signing period which begins on July 1st.