Sunday, April 21, 2013

2012-13 Awards

I can't remember what all awards get announced at the final home game (later today) so I will just give my opinion on the players that I think deserve the awards I can remember (and some I just made up).

Team MVP

This one is easy. 

Winner...Jeff Taffe.

He leads the Bears (and is tied for the league lead) in points with 70.  Ranks 2nd on the team in goals with 18.  And he leads the Bears and the league in assists with 52.

He has been the most consistent offensive player on the team all season. 

Others considered: really no one, but one could make an argument for Casey Wellman.

Unsung Hero

This one was debated on Facebook a bit so why not throw my opinion into the discussion. 

I saw some people saying Jeff Taffe or Casey Wellman for this, but I think the idea of this kind of award is to recognize a player that might not be recording the most points but is still contributing in a big way.

This one too is easy for me to answer....Garrett Mitchell.

I can't think of a game that I saw this season where Mitchell wasn't giving his all from the opening whistle.  Everyone has some off games/shifts, but he always hustled. 

Also considered: no one, maybe Julien Brouillette.

Best Defenseman

This is a tough one considering how many guys have been recalled to Washington. 

Winner...Steve Oleksy

He has proven to be a very nice addition to the Bears/Caps family and played very well in his 55 games in Hershey. 

If I am giving it to a guy on the team right now....Brouillette.  He has been as dependable in his own end as anyone and has been a consistent presence with all the recalls and roster movement.

Best In Season Addition

So much roster turnover this year creates a need for this new award.  Most of the newcomers weren't around long enough to really be considered for the other team awards so why not give them one of their own.

Winner...Casey Wellman.

Chey Genoway has also been impressive, but Wellman has provided an offensive spark for the team and is second in points to Taffe on the season. 

Also considered: Peter LeBlanc.

Best Rookie

Considering the shallow depth of Capitals organizational depth there aren't many names to consider here.

Winner...Philipp Grubauer.

Gruby has been solid all season.  In only his 2nd pro season he has been asked to mostly carry the load in Hershey since the NHL returned and Braden migrated south.  He is 13-8-2 on the year with a 2.28 goals against (10th in league) and .920 save percentage (12th in league).

Also considered...Cameron Schilling.

Most Improved Player

This is a tough one.  Again, with the roster turnover from the beginning of the season until now it is harder.


He started the season in the ECHL and has finished as one of the better goaltenders in the AHL.  For a rookie that is impressive in my opinion.  Even when he was recalled it was anticipated that it would be close to a 50/50 split with Dany Sabourin, but he has made it obvious to anyone watching that he is (or should be) the undisputed #1 right now.

Also considered...Schilling and Brouillette.

Player I Most Want to See in 2013-14

I will have much more discussion on the 2013-14 Bears as the weeks go on here, but I can say that I am excited about the roster already as a lot of the guys on this years team will be back.  And in my opinion, the better players will be the ones coming back.

But I pretty much created this category for one player...

Winner....Michael Latta.

I am very excited to see him play.  He brings both offensive creativity and a physical game.  Not too many players manage to do both well, but in the little I have seen him, I have been impressed. 

Also considered...Nate Schmidt.  

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