A few lingering thoughts from the NHL Awards Thursday night:
1. During host Ron MacLean’s opening monologue, commissioner Gary Bettman was working one of his patented press-on smiles in place of an honest-to-goodness grin. I wonder what’s phonier: Bettman’s attempts at conveying genuine joy and happiness, or this guy’s?
2. There was lots of broken-English European charm on display, but I laughed hardest when, during Patrick Kane’s acceptance speech for the Calder Trophy, the Blackhawks super-rookie referenced his three teenage sisters and noted how tough it was to keep his teammates away from them. It’s funny because it’s probably true.
3. All in all, I thought MacLean and the people behind the broadcast did a bang-up job of making viewers care about the players being celebrated. But there’s a lot of merit in New York Post writer Larry Brooks’ suggestion to move the awards into New York’s Radio City Music Hall at least once. I’m sure the increased celebrity turnout in Manhattan would alone help boost the league’s profile.
• The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee will meet in Toronto Tuesday to decide on a new group of former NHLers to be honored in November. And, once again, they will almost assuredly carry on with their caveman routine and refuse to induct the first female player into their hallowed establishment.
It’s shameful enough the Olympic Games has acknowledged women’s hockey as being worthy of celebration before the HHOF has. But now that the International Ice Hockey Federation has inducted three women into its own Hall of Fame, it is downright despicable to see the HHOF stubbornly clinging to testosterone-driven, arcane principles that deny hockey pioneers such as Angela James and Cammi Granato their due.
Here’s hoping somebody secretly slips an anti-misogynist potion into the committee’s punchbowl ASAP.
• Finally, a quick movie review of The Incredible Hulk: If you can suspend your disbelief enough to accept Liv Tyler as a biochemist, you will love this film.
I cannot, and did not.
• Oh, and be on the lookout later this week for my review of The Love Guru. And then don’t be on the lookout for anything by me next week, as I’ll be on vacation.
Adam Proteau is The Hockey News’ online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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