Now, I know that the NHL Awards will never be as flashy or as entertaining as all of the "real" awards shows I know and love, but why not at least try? Whoever's planning this usually gets it wrong at some point. They should either try to be boring but very classy (like a Kennedy Center Honors), or just go nuts and be entertaining at any cost (like an MTV Awards ceremony). Right now, the NHL Awards are kind of like what I imagine the People's Choice Awards would be like if I watched them: The nominees and speeches are just this side of lame, but not so boring that they cancel the show altogether. (It's just that viewers never get the OMGsuper-exciting!!! telecast they were promised.) I'll be honest: I'm going to make some suggestions about how to improve the show, but I'll watch it regardless, because there will be hockey players in suits.
Just for fun, let's have a look at who could have hosted this instead:
What, you had a year to plan this year's show and you couldn't book Denis Leary? The man lives and breathes sports, he's engaging, and he can be bitingly hilarious. He'd be perfect. (Also, I recently found out that he's related to Conan O'Brien. It's win-win-win!)
Dean Winters recently returned to 30 Rock. You're telling me we couldn't get him onstage in character as Dennis Duffy wearing a variety of hockey jerseys? He could try to sell a beeper to Gordie Howe!
Las Vegas is full of celebrity impersonators, or at least that's what it looks like on TV. I'm sure if we look hard enough and sift through a sea of fake Elvises, Lucille Balls, and Kardashian sisters, we'll eventually find someone who gets paid to look and sound just like Gary Bettman.
Or why not hire from within? A former NHL star like Marc Messier loves the sound of applause. A former NHL star like Jeremy Roenick loves the sound of his own voice. As long as you don't lose track of Paul Bissonnette the instant he steps off a plane in Vegas, he'd make a great host. It might not be a family-friendly telecast but what's funnier than a current NHL star who spends most of his time on the bench emceeing a show honouring hockey's best and most productive?
I've got a few ideas bouncing around about this awards show. Maybe the NHL forgot that they have a crazy TV fan to deal with.