The trophies seem to be coming out of the woodworks in the recent years. Remember the ill-fated Mark Messier Leadership Award?? Yeah, neither do I. However, I think the idea of having the John Druce Award is very meaningful.
For Washington Capitals fans, Druce stepped into the role of goal-scorer for the Caps after Dino Ciccarelli went out with a knee injury. Druce racked up 14 goals and three assists in 15 games for the Caps as they made it all the way to the Wales Conference Finals. For the rest of his career, Druce only had three more playoff goals and three more playoff assists in 37 games after that 1990 Playoffs.
So, the premise for the Druce Award is simple. It is given out to the most unlikely guy to pot the most points for his team in the playoffs. However, the player must have a minimum of two rounds under his belt to be considered. Since we're in the second round, here's a look at some candidates in the early going.
-Johan Franzen, Detroit: On a team with Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and even Nicklas Lidstrom; Franzen leads the team with seven goals and ten points this playoffs. Franzen is tied for second this playoffs for points.
-Joe Pavelski, San Jose: Pavelski leads the Sharks with eight points, which could be the reason they are struggling when a veritable unknown is leading the team with a former Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner (Joe Thornton) and former Richard Trophy winner (Jonathan Cheechoo) on it.
-Vaclav Prospal, Philadelphia: The trade from Tampa hasn't slowed Prospal down, who is only two points behind teammate Daniel Briere for overall points lead in the playoffs. Prospal had 14 points in 18 games when he came over from Tampa.
That's just an early look. It seems that the big time players are filling their roles, which causes the Druce Award to be a toughy. We'll get through it and make it come together as an amazing thing that will take the hockey world by storm.....or not.