Blues fans were given a chance to vote in the second annual Blues Fan Awards at stlouisblues.com for two weeks in May. Fans were allowed to choose the team's MVP, its best forward, best defenseman, unsung hero, biggest surprise, most popular player and the best moment from the 2009-10 season. With thousands of votes submitted, the results are in.
Team MVP - Alex Steen (25% of total votes) Runner-up:David Backes (16% of total votes) A wrist injury early in the season wasn't enough to keep Alex Steen from producing. Through 68 games played, Steen tied for the team lead in goals (24) and ranked fourth on the club in points (47). He set a personal-best in goals, points, plus/minus (+6). He also led the team with four game-winning goals. The Winnipeg native was traded to St. Louis along with Carlo Colaiacovo in exchange for Lee Stempniak in 2008. "It was great for me. A new opportunity, new scenery," Steen said about the trade to St. Louis. "The Blues organization has been great. Everything has been top notch."
Best Forward - Alex Steen (25% of total votes) Runner-up:Andy McDonald (19% of total votes) It's not surprising considering he was chosen as the team's MVP, but Steen also claimed the Blues Fan Award for best forward during the 2009-10 season. He faced some stiff competition, as Andy McDonald, David Backes, T.J. Oshie and David Perron all contributed more than 45 points each. Steen brought some stability to the power play once he was inserted onto the top unit in December.
Best Defenseman - Erik Johnson (36% of total votes) Runner-up:Roman Polak (29% of total votes) Defenseman Erik Johnson didn't show much rust despite missing the entire 2008-09 season with a leg injury. In 2009-10, he scored 10 goals and added 29 assists in 79 games. He led all defenseman in goals scored and became the first Blues defenseman since Chris Pronger in 2003-04 to score more 10 goals or more. His 39 points put him eighth on the club.
Unsung Hero - Mike Weaver (16% of total votes) Runner-up:Alex Steen (13% of total votes) The fans spoke and they really got this one right: Mike Weaver had just 10 points in 79 games, but this award is more about things you can't find on a statsheet. It's about second effort, blocking shots and doing whatever is necessary to help the team succeed. Even when Weaver scored his first goal as a Blue vs. the New York Rangers, he was overshadowed by Paul Kariya's 400th career goal. This is an honor well-deserved.
Biggest Surprise - Alex Steen (52% of total votes) Runner-up: Mike Weaver (6% of total votes) No surprise here...Alex Steen keeps taking home the hardware when it comes to the fan's vote. You can pinpoint the beginning of Steen's hot streak to when he was added to the top power play unit. He was decisive and wasn't afraid to shoot the puck, and his confidence soared from there and helped him in all areas of his game.
Most Popular Player - T.J. Oshie (61% of total votes) Runner-up: Keith Tkachuk (12% of total votes) Fans were fascinated with T.J. Oshie long before he ever wore a Blue Note. Maybe it was that he impressed and dangled the puck at the various rookie camps or maybe it was the big hits fans watched on YouTube while he played at the University of North Dakota. Whatever started the popularity, it's still going and for good reason. Oshie plays the game hard every night and delivers a few highlight reel plays (and hits) to boot.
Best Moment - Tkachuk's Final Game (34% of total votes) Runner-up: Perron's Coast-to-Coast Goal vs. Islanders (23% of total votes) Every Blues season is filled with memorable moments, but rarely do you get to celebrate the career of one of the team's biggest contributors in the last decade. After 543 games and 427 points in a Blues uniform, one couldn't have scripted a better ending: one where Big Walt, as he was affectionally called, skated around the ice with his three children in front of a standing ovation from a sell-out crowd at Scottrade Center. You can read about it and watch it again right here at stlouisblues.com. Just make sure to have a box of Kleenex nearby.