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The Calder Race, Or Why Jimmy Howard Shouldn’t Even Be In Contention


Most teams have only ten games left in the regular season, so I think it’s a good time to talk about the trophy race debates enveloping the fans. I’ll talk about other trophies in coming days, but today, it’s all about the Calder Trophy.

With all the hype surround Johnny T’s nephew this preseason, who could have seen his dropoff coming? He hit that wall hard, man.

Now we’re left with a forward (Matt Duchene), a goalie (Jimmy Howard), and Wonderboy (Tyler Myers). That’s a solid crop of nominees if you ask me. Let’s have a look at Jimmy Howard’s rookie year:

2009-2010 54GP 29W 15L 9OT 1SO 112GA 1,160SA .924SV% 2.30GAA 3,188MIN

That’s not a bad rookie year at al…wait, he got drafted in 2003? Played his first NHL game in 2005? He’s 25? Why the fuck is he even eligible for the Calder Trophy after being a member of the Red Wings for seven years? Ohhh, because the NHL continues to prove that it doesn’t know how to write a rulebook.

Look, call me a hater, but anyone who was drafted seven years before being discussed for the rookie of the year trophy absolutely should not be eligible, especially after playing games in three separate seasons before his “rookie” campaign.

Now, let’s look at Wonderboy’s rookie stats:

2009-2010 71GP 10G 31A 41P +13 30PIM 3PP 0SH 1GW 86S 11.6S% 23:50TOI

Those are damned respectable stats for a rook…drafted in 2008? Now, here we have a true rookie. Played one season of junior after being drafted, absolute LIT. IT. UP. at the WJC, in the Chynoweth Cup playoffs, and at the Memorial Cup, and made the big club out of camp. Here we have a true rookie – no prior experience in the NHL, no 4 years of experience in the AHL cutting his teeth.

I’m not going to go into Matt Duchene’s stats because my point has been made (Not to disrespect Matt, though – he’s having a fine rookie season and is primed to lead a young, talented Avs squad for a long time). The race should be between Duchene and Myers, with Myers winning by a landslide.

Goddamned idiot rulemakers in the NHL. Buncha jackasses.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. mike permalink
    03/23/10 5:47 PM

    woah. what about miller, who was in consideration? he was drafted in 99, and was appointed the sabres starter in fall of 05. everyone was clamoring for him stepping up.

    if the award went to time in the organization, thats one thing. the award is defined by best play in the persons first season of full time NHL play. background plays no part of this.

    its like awarding one person a job because they come from a wealthy, WASP background, while denying another person of the job with the same qualifications, but was born and raised in an inner city setting.

    myers has been great. and yeah, hes younger. but he hasnt been better then howard.

    this is the same scenario that nabokov and ed belfour both won their calders under.

  2. 03/23/10 5:52 PM

    Considering Miller wasn’t even talked about for a Calder during his rookie year, I’d say that’s a moot point (Does 2005 being Crosby and Ovechkin’s rookie seasons have something to do with that? More than likely).

    And an argument based on entitlement really holds no water here, Mike. You know that.

    Given that I wasn’t a fan of hockey when Ed Belfour won his Calder, or a die-hard fan when Nabokov won his, I don’t wanna focus on them. I’m focusing on the here and now.

  3. mike permalink
    03/23/10 6:19 PM

    goaltenders have, and always will, take longer to develop. how many goaltenders come in at 18? not many. most goalies, at earliest, will be handed the reins to a starting job at 23. thats on a bad team. howard came in on a two time defending western conference championship team, and stole the reins and became the starter. he was stuck back in the AHL for years, he was ready in 07-08. one should not be penalized because an organization blushed at the thought of giving him a chance. he came up, and in the biggest sense of the word, he has established himself as the top rookie.

    the rules are different for goalies, as they should be.

    • 03/23/10 6:23 PM

      Let’s stop your shpiel at your third sentence. Cut-off for the Calder trophy at 23? I like it.

  4. mike permalink
    03/23/10 6:45 PM

    but then that voids alot of good talent coming in of a chance to win the hardware. goaltenders are just a different breed. and need more time to develop. especially goaltenders who go to college, and cant be drafted till after their first year of school.

  5. 03/23/10 6:53 PM

    OK, so they get drafted at 19 instead of 18. Regardless of where this conversation goes, I think 25 is too old to still be in contention and the age needs to be lowered. 22 for skaters, 24 for goalies (at the start of their first full season) sounds good enough for me.

  6. Matt permalink
    04/03/10 3:21 AM

    Mike, if it means ANYTHING to you and your barely formed argument, Ryan Miller was drafted as a 15 or 16 year old as a SOPHOMORE IN COLLEGE. Sabres thought they could steal him with a low pick, and it turned out pretty well.

    Not to mention he only played one prior NHL season (3 GAMES), and was stuck up and not playing in the NHL for a couple years because of a goaltender controversy. So he didn’t even get much AHL time.

    And as Phil said, he wasn’t really considered anyway. Next time, brush up on your facts before you try to make a point or you might hurt yourself. 🙂

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