Justin's jerking my chain on his blog about a column I wrote about the league needing a Defenseman of the Week Award.
Though I was pushing for this even in the IHL, here was my most recent concept from an Oct. 18 column:
``First, the league needs to come up with a way to honor its top defensemen every week and month.... Some would respond that defensemen are included in the player of the week awards, but realistically, they are not. Over the past few seasons, there's been an average of one defenseman honored per season. A lot of public relations directors won't even nominate defensemen because they know it's a lost cause.
``Last week Muskegon's Phillipe Plante was plus-8 after two games, a phenomenal achievement, but he wasn't even nominated by the Fury for the Player of the Week Award. Teammate Elias Godoy got the award despite being only plus-2. Who cares that he scored a piddling three goals and six points in two games?
``The point is if Plante or another defenseman can't win the award when they are plus-8, they can never expect to win the honor.
``It's easy to see why defensemen have an inferiority complex. Forwards get the glory, more money and usually the girls. If they make a bad play, it doesn't end up with a red light flashing over their heads and everybody screaming at them.''
MORE THAN A MONTH LATER, this was Justin's response:
``Speaking of the weekly awards, I know the idea has been floated by at least one other reporter that there should be a Defenseman of the Week Award. In theory, it's a good idea. But I don't agree it could ever work. It would end up being just an award for the best offensive defenseman. It would be too difficult for people to determine who played the best defensively from week to week. You can put a lot of stock in the plus/minus ratings, I guess, but just about everyone will agree it can be a deceptive statistic since it's dependent upon whom else is on the ice and whether or not you give up short-handed goals, things like that.''
OK, some of my original points are still valid. Why does hockey ignore one-third of their players for these awards? The proof that my theory is correct is that Mario Larocque has not received a POW award this year, and he's not even been nominated by the Komets. How can that possibly be, except the Komets realize it's going to go to the player with the best offensive numbers? Plain and simple, it's an award for the forwards.
Also, Justin, there's a Mr. Larocque and a Mr. Dupuis who would like to talk to you about your total disrespect for defensemen. LOL.
I'll even go a step further, what if the beat writers around the league nominated defensemen for the award? Then it would be up to them to make sure the best defensive defensemen got their due as well as the offensive guys. They'd also have to focus more of their attention overall on that side of the ice.
Just because something is difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't be fixed, and it''s still wrong that defensemen are ignored. It's a crime, I tell ya! Plus, now Mario and Guy owe me lunch.