Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013-2014 (3rd annual)Hockey LEast Pre-Season Awards

It is once again the time of year where the media releases all of their preseason polls. This means that fans(including us) will get all ticked off because their team is picked to finish 4th instead of 3rd(1st in our case) in the conference. While I have already posted our predictions, we will continue our set of awards that we post at the beginning and conclusion of each season. The Hockey LEast awards(2012-2013 final awards here) are who we think are the worst players and coaches for a various number of reasons including performance, team , off-ice rapping career etc. If you want to whine about it, feel free to leave a comment.

(Worst) Coach of the Year- Jerry York (BC)
-The fact that our pal Jerry hasn't won this award before is quite surprising in itself but we believe BC will suck enough for him to come through this year. It is really too perfect as the media and fellow coaches pumps up BC's hype in the pre-season polls. This is a team that is reliant on a freshman class to have success this season. Someone name me the last team that made a serious run with as many freshmen playing important roles as BC will have this year. The answer is never.  Throw in his team's inevitable failure this year and the fact that York and Co. will probably have to cover up more off the ice issues, this was an easy choice for our Hockey LEast coach of the year. Let the countdown for most career losses continue. 569 and counting...

(Worst) Player of the Year- Austin Wuthrich,F (ND)
- Now this one may come as a surprise to some people but it was an easy choice when you look at the numbers. Wuthrich posted a respectable 7-10-17 and a +5 rating as a freshman at Notre Dame. He then was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 4th round of the 2012 draft. Wuthrich responded by cutting his production in half last season with a 5-4-9 line and a -1 rating. He also plays for Notre Dame, whose only attractive quality is that BC hates them and they hate BC. That's about it. Wuthrich wins the pre-season award for Hockey LEast player of the year! Congrats Austin! Best of luck in living up to the high standards we just set for you.

*I just want to clarify that this has nothing to do with him being a bust on my fantasy college hockey team last year. I would never hold a grudge like that.

(Worst) Rookie of the Year- Frank Vatrano  Michael Szmatula,F(NU)
-Frankie Vatrano just won't let us pick him for our Hockey LEast Rookie of the Year. For two years now, we have been prepared to pick him only for him to be deemed ineligible and be suspended for all or a significant portion of the season. C'mon Frankie, you've earned it. Stop fighting it.

Now let's move on to this year's actual pre-season selection. Michael Szmatula is a Northeastern recruit who has already tried to leave school before he ever enrolled. Not the best first impression to make on your teammates. Szmatula comitted to NU and signed his NLI while he was having a really good year in the USHL for coach Jim Montgomery of the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Montgomery was hired this past summer to be the new head coach at Denver. Szmatula then requested that Northeastern release him from his NLI so he could play for Denver without sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. Northeastern refused to do so and so Szmatula stayed instead of sitting out a year.  We just don't see Northeastern being very good this season and can't imagine things will be any easier in that locker room when Szmatula's teammates know he wants to be somewhere else.

(Biggest) Goon of the Year- Jake Rutt,D (Maine)
-This was a tough choice as past goons Joey Diamond(Maine) and Kyle Bigos(Merrimack) graduated this past year.  Rutt registered 61 penalty minutes last year at Maine but we feel he has the ability to take that to another level this season. To be honest, we just assume the returning Maine player with the most penalty minutes will turn into their new goon. We are expecting 100+ penalty minutes from Rutt this season and for him to win the crown come March but this is really anyone's ballgame.

Hockey Least First Team
F- Robert Polesello(UVM)*, Nick Sorkin(UNH), Kyle Singelton(Merrimack)
D- Dan Kolomatis(Merrimack), Greg Amlong(Lowell)
G: Clay Witt(NU)

*-Indicates returning selection 


  1. Amlong is a defense-man for the record... Wasn't much of one in OT vs Yale

  2. Thanks for letting me know. I corrected that error