Yesterday we kicked off our series of posts looking at the Flyers' end-of-year awards, as we decided who should win the Barry Ashbee Trophy (given to the team's best defenseman) and the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy (given to the team's most improved player).
Today, we'll look at the other three awards that are voted on by various entities. In this post, we'll do a two-fer and look at both the Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award and the Gene Hart Memorial Award. The Dupre award is given to the player who "best illustrates character, dignity and respect for the sport both on and off the ice" as decided by the media, while the Hart award is given to he "who demonstrated the most 'heart' during the season" as decided by the Flyers' Fan Club. (Yes, that's a thing.)
Last year, Mark Streit won the Dupre award while Jakub Voracek won the Hart award.
For most of us, deciding who's the classiest guy or the guy with the most heart is sort of just guessing, since it's pretty tough for anyone who's not regularly in the locker room to really have a grasp on who's a good, "classy" guy, and it's tough for anyone at all to know who exactly has the most "heart". So we may go a bit all over the place here. But we'll hazard some guesses anyways. Enjoy.
Dupre: Shayne Gostisbehere. Despite setting an NHL record and becoming the buzz of the league, he has remained humble and measured on the ice and off it as well. Here's to hoping the rest of the prospect crop is as good on and off the ice as you, Ghost.
Hart: Wayne Simmonds. He brings it every night, and isn't afraid to stick up for his teammates even if it means rearranging someone else face. This has led to some questionable actions on his part perhaps, but in terms of guys who would be irreplaceable from an intangible standpoint, Wayne's pretty tough to beat. As first reported on BSH, he can score some goals too.
Dupre: Not once has Shayne Gostisbehere taken credit for any of his success. In interviews he acts like a veteran with the usual cliches, all while giving praise to his teammates for his amazing plays. Plus, he hasn't complained about having an anchor strapped to him in the form of Andrew MacDonald.
Hart: Shayne Gostisbehere has had to earn everything in this league from day one. If he didn't make that amazing play in his first game this season, he probably would've just had a one-game stint while the Flyers called up a more experienced defenseman. But he's persevered through that, nagging injuries, and Andrew MacDonald to become a likely Calder Trophy finalist.
Dupre: Wayne Simmonds. I don't have a really good explanation for this, but he's my pick.
Hart: Wayne Simmonds. I don't have a really good explanation for this, but he's my pick.
Dupre: Screw it, let's go with Andrew MacDonald here. Because by all accounts he handled his demotion to Lehigh Valley in stride and did well down there, and also because I feel bad for him and think he should win something. Also, the media in this city clearly likes him, and that's more or less what this award is based off of anyways.
Hart: This seems like the kind of award that would go to the guy who has won the most Fearless Play Of The Game awards during the CSN in-game broadcasts. Y'know, the ones they give out every game that usually goes to whoever gets injured at some point before eventually coming back on the ice? I dunno, I feel like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare gets that a lot. Seems like once a week the dude gets totally smashed by a big hit and leaves and then comes back like two minutes later. That's heart, y'know? I think that's heart. I'm not a cardiologist, folks.
Dupre: This award, as I’ve said before, is incredibly stupid. Like, "respect for the sport … off the ice"? I’m not even going to begin to try and understand what the hell that means. Maybe it’s a player who just says nice things about hockey while not playing hockey? I have no damn clue. Given that this makes no sense, neither will my answer. I Google image searched "Philadelphia Flyers," scrolled down, and blindly placed a finger on my screen. It landed on my vote: Dan Carcillo from what appears to be the 2009-2010 season.
Dupre: Jakub Voracek is such an interesting dude. Bitingly honest with his heart on his sleeve, amicable and amiable. He’s also leading the team with charity work. This season, he launched The Jakub Voracek Foundation, pledging to donate 1,000 dollars for every point he scores to help in the fight against multiple sclerosis. If you’re keeping track, that’s 53 grand towards MS research, making Jake the perfect recipient for this award.
Hart: Steve Mason is carrying the Flyers down the stretch. He’s holding the team up when they need it most. His heart is giant. He’s got the heart of a blue whale. Blue whale hearts can weigh over to 1,500 pounds and can be as large as a small car. That’s Steve Mason’s heart.
Dupre: Both after practice and games, the Flyers as a team are generally open with the press. As a fully credentialed blogger, I can honestly say it's difficult to point out any player who is consistently difficult to interview. So who wins the Dupre? You can knock Voracek and Streit out of the running, because both have won the award in the past and there's never been a repeat winner. I could see captain Claude Giroux getting it, as he's definitely become more comfortable this season in his role as team spokesperson. Shayne Gostisbehere is the most quotable out of the Flyers' impact players, and Wayne Simmonds is probably the best at answering the tough questions. But I'm going to go with an off-the-board pick. Ryan White, while far from a star, has always been willing to talk about the less-obvious topics on the record, and he's extremely approachable. That's a godsend for a writer looking for deeper information regarding the narratives under the surface, and as a fourth liner it's certainly not a role that White is required to play. But he does it willingly and in good humor, which makes him my personal choice for the award.
Hart: It seems like this is another one of those "can't be a repeat winner" awards, so scratch Giroux, Simmonds, Mason and Voracek off the list. Truthfully, Simmonds should probably win this every year, as every member of the team knows that the Wayne Train has his back in a sticky situation. But if we're looking for a new winner, how about Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who seems to stagger off the ice with one ailment or another every single game only to be right back out there for his next shift every time. Bellemare is the pivot of a fourth line that gets by solely on high-effort forechecking ability, and the French-born center leads by example each night.