One thing I have always suggested the IHL and UHL do is come up with a defenseman of the week category for their weekly awards. Here's why: Guy Dupuis had a great week last week with three goals and one assist along with a plus-3 rating, so the Komets nominated him for the league's player of the week award. He did not receive the award because Rockford's Billy Tibbett's had four and three assists in four games.
I have no problem with Tibbett's getting the award this week, but my point is that it's almost impossible for a defenseman to ever receive the award. As an example, Troy Neumeier had a fantastic season last year and finished plus-47 last year on his way to being named the league's Defenseman of the Year. He never received the weekly award, and I'm not even sure he was ever nominated, truthfully. That's not a slam on the Komets for not nominating him either. They probably went with a forward whom they felt had a better chance to win.
I remember being stunned and pleasantly surprised last year when Needier got the award because it almost always goes to an offensive defenseman. Though he had a fantastic season and more than earned the honor, it was still surprising.
The point is that defensemen are never going to get their due, especially defensive defensemen. Who's perhaps the most underrated Komet of all-time. It's got to be Carey Lucky who was strictly a defensive defenseman, but few players were ever more valuable in a playoff series. How about in the UL? It's got to be Kevin Schmidt for much the same reasons. Defensive defensemen never get the glory, but they often have a lot more to do with winning games than the forward who scores all the goals.
Coming up with such an award certainly means more work for over-worked league officials, but it's also a chance for the league to break new ground that other leagues are ignoring.