As the Carolina Hurricanes celebrate their nail-biting Game 7 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, garnering the team its first-ever Stanley Cup, OLN announces that the network will carry exclusive, live coverage of the National Hockey League Awards Show and the first round of the league’s 2006 Entry Draft. The NHL Awards Show, airing live on June 22 at 5 p.m. PST, will take one last look at the season by honoring the accomplishments of players as voted on by their peers, hockey writers and league managers. Two days later, on June 24 at 3 p.m. PST, NHL Clubs begin their quest for next year’s Stanley Cup by selecting promising young talent at the 2006 NHL Draft.
The NHL Awards Show - June 22 at 5 p.m. PST
The NHL Awards Show, from The Centre in Vancouver, honors the exceptional performances of its best and brightest stars. Individual awards will be presented for various achievements, including the Hart Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player) with top three contenders Jaromir Jagr, Joe Thornton and Miikka Kiprusoff; the Calder Memorial Trophy (Outstanding Rookie) with top contenders Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and Dion Phaneuf; and the James Norris Memorial Trophy (outstanding defenseman) chosen from finalists Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Zubov, as well as the announcement of the players voted to the All-Star and All-Rookie Teams.
The 2006 Entry Draft – June 24 at 3 p.m. PST
The 2006 Entry Draft takes place in General Motors Place in Vancouver and will feature the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders from North America, as well as the top 160 skaters and 18 goaltenders from Europe. For 30 years players have been ranked by the Central Scouting Service, which attends 3,000 games to provide the NHL with evaluations of draft eligible players and also a rank order. This year, the top North American prospect is defenseman Erik Johnson of the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team. The St. Louis Blues won the draft drawing and will make their selection first, followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins.
San Jose Sharks players Joe Thornton, Captain Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo are headed to Vancouver, B.C. for the National Hockey League’s Awards Show.
Thornton and Cheechoo are already assured of taking home two of the evening’s biggest prizes. Thornton, as “the player who leads the League in scoring points at the end of the regular season,” is the 2006 winner of the Art Ross Trophy. Cheechoo, who led the League with 56 goals, will receive the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, named after the Montreal Canadiens great who was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season and 500 for his career.
In addition, Thornton is one of three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded to “the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team” as voted by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and the Lester B. Pearson Award, presented to “the NHL’s most outstanding player as selected by the members of the National Hockey League’s Players Association.”
Marleau, who set a career marks for points (86), goals (34), assists (52) and power play goals (20), is one of three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, presented to “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” as voted by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
The Awards Ceremony will be followed by the NHL Draft, which will take place at GM Place on Saturday, June 24, beginning at 3:00 p.m. The first round will be broadcast on OLN.
PREVIOUS SAN JOSE SHARKS NHL AWARD WINNERS:
CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY (top rookie)
Evgeni Nabokov, 2001
BILL MASTERTON MEMORIAL TROPHY (perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey)
Tony Granato, 1997
PREVIOUS SAN JOSE SHARKS NHL AWARD FINALISTS:
JACK ADAMS TROPHY (top coach)
Ron Wilson, 2004 (second)
Kevin Constantine, 1994 (second)
CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY (top rookie)
Brad Stuart, 2000 (second)
FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY (top defensive forward)
Alyn McCauley, 2004 (third)
Mike Ricci, 2004 (third)
OLN (OLNTV.com) is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events like The Tour de France, the America's Cup, the Dakar Rally, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), the Arena Football League (AFL), the Boston Marathon, AMA Motocross, Davis Cup and USSA Skiing. Now in more than 69 million homes, the network features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events that audiences can't find elsewhere. The network offers unique, competition-themed original programming and is the exclusive home of Survivor in syndication. OLN, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States. The network will be changing its name to Versus as of September 2006.