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05-03-2004, 11:47 PM
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Bruin_Ron
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Renaming NHL Trophies

I posted this on the Bruins board and thought we could probably have a good discussion here..... original thread: http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=75546




What does the Bruins board think of the issue of renaming the NHL trophies? There are obviously more pressing issues, but I got into a heated hour-long debate over pints with two of my friends on Saturday night.

In case you're not aware, they're thinking of renaming the Vezina Trophy to the Roy Trophy - renaming the Norris the Bobby Orr Trophy - and renaming the Art Ross Trophy the Wayne Gretzky Trophy - etc.

I entered the conversation thinking the trophie's names should be left as is. Here were a few arguments I used:

1. The trophies were named after the first individuals who set the standards in the first place. They were the first to stand out enough to make a trophy and name it after them in the first place - therefore, they shouldn't be renamed.

2. I like history alot and think it's very important. Hockey is a game with a very rich history and we need to cherish it. If you rename the Vezina the Roy Trophy, Vezina will be forgotten. In 15 years, when my son approaches me and says "Daddy, so-and-so won the Roy Award!" - I will turn to him and say, "No, son. That's the Vezina Trophy". He'll turn around and say "Who the heck's Vezina?". Nowadays, as it was in my case, I looked up Vezina and found out what he was all about. I learnt something about hockey history my son wouldn't as likely be interested in.

3. What happens, in the case of renaming the Vezina the Roy, when/if someone breaks Roy's records? Are we going to re-name the trophy again? And if not, why not? If we want the Vezina to go to the top goalie in the NHL, are we going to keep re-naming it when the next best goalie comes around?

4. There's no way of saying, again in the case of the Vezina, how Vezina would compare to Roy in this day and age of hockey. Vezina played without a mask. He played without huge pads. Vezina played played without all the new crease rules - and he played without 250 pound defencemen in front of him blocking shots at all cost at times (due to the improved pads since 20's). Who's to say Roy is actually better and therefore worthy of having a trophy names after him - and in the process turning our backs to history?

5. It's unlikely, but nothing's impossible: Roy was apparently contemplating coming out of retirement to join the Avs. How can we name a trophy after a player who might actually still be capable of winning it?

6. Roy "only" won the Vezina three (3) times during his career. In contrast, Hasek won the Vezina five (5) times during his career. If a strong case can't be made as to why we'd re-name the trophy after Roy when Hasek won in more often in his career, then you know it's a bad idea in the first place. Roy isn't even in the Hall of Fame yet, how can we re-name the Vezina after him? I realize he may be one of the most successful goalies in history (more so than Hasek), but if you're going to re-name the Vezina, and wanted to put a modern twist on it, you would think it would go to the player who has won the trohy the most in recent history. I'm not saying it should be re-named the Hasek trophy - I'm saying it shouldn't be re-named at all, period.

7. I'm against re-naming trophies. History is important - re-naming trophies as a way to "modernize" the game and make it more interesting to the youth or to attract new/disgruntled fans - we're doing it at the expense of our game's rich history. No one's going to know who Art Ross, or George Vezina are. And this, at a time when we long for some good old-fashioned hockey.


What's your take? Should we be re-naming the Trophies?


NOTE: I would perhaps create a new trophy to honour Bobby Orr, the best defenceman ever. Heck, the best player all-time, but I can't bring myself to actually strip another person of their honour, in this case, James Norris


Last edited by Bruin_Ron: 05-04-2004 at 09:34 AM.
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