On Friday, we took a look at two of the end-of-season awards that the Flyers will be giving out today prior to their game against Columbus. Now, we’ll take a look at the other three voted-on awards that will be presented, giving our choices for the awards (not necessarily who we think will win, but who should win) and some brief reasons why. Enjoy.
Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award
Goes to the Flyer who “best illustrates character, dignity and respect for the sport both on and off the ice,” as voted on by the media.
2015-16 Winner: Wayne Simmonds
Al: Man I really don't care about this award. Like, at all. All the players seem nice and "classy" or whatever, but then again, I don't really know what that means in this context. Jakub Voracek bought a bunch of hats for sick kids this year, so that's something, I guess. He can have the award.
Allison: Jakub Voracek’s dedication to roasting people on Twitter demands respect, and for that reason alone, he deserves this award.
Charlie: This is actually a tough one to predict. The media hasn't crowned a repeat winner of the Class Guy Award in the 38-year history of the award, and I doubt they'll change that precedent this year, which rules out Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, the two obvious choices. But I'm not bound by these ridiculous traditions, so I'll go with Jakub Voracek, who is by far the most open, entertaining interview on the roster.
Dylan: This is a very difficult one, as many players on the team are such good people. I like that about the Flyers; they always seem to be helping the community out. For me, I'd have to go with Jake Voracek for this award. Voracek always enjoys being a social person in the Philly community, and he has a very good sense of personality on and off the ice. When he accidentally 'stole' Wayne Simmonds' hat trick, Voracek personally donated 396 hats to Philly-based hospitals. Oh, his Twitter is fantastic too. How lucky are we to have this man with a beauty of a mane?
Jay: Andrew MacDonald appreciates and respects the game of hockey so much he doesn't even attempt to play to his competition. Why would fans of the Flyers want to see him improve on his game? I mean we would much all rather see replacement level players make him look silly. It has given us many fun moments and gifs (omg the gifs!) of his many calamities. That I can appreciate.
Joe: Claude Giroux.
Kelly: You know who should get this? Steve Mason. For holding his head up and being a professional while his team shat on him for 82 games.
Kurt: Going to go with
Meat — sorry, try that again — Matt Read on this one. I’m not totally sure why. This is a kind of odd award to make guesses on unless you’re regularly in the room talking to guys and getting a good feel for who’s liked and who shows Respect and all that. But Read always seemed like a guy who’s had a good attitude in his time with the Flyers, even in these past couple of years as his play’s fallen off. Consider this one a lifetime achievement award, I suppose.
Steph: Shayne Gostisbehere. He handled being healthy scratched with grace and also I love him.
Travis: Jakub Voracek.
Gene Hart Memorial Award
Goes to the Flyer who ‘demonstrated the most “Heart” during the season’, as voted on by the members of the Flyers’ official Fan Club.
2015-16 Winner: Shayne Gostisbehere
Al: Ahh, the Gene Hart Memorial Award, or as I call it, "The Zac Rinaldo Foundation Award." This is the most important award of the year, because among all these meaningless accolades, it makes the least sense. And it's voted on by the fans, which means it's always going to make even less sense. For this one, I'm going with who is most likely to get it: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. If you told me a few years ago that the Zac Rinaldo award was going to go to a Frenchman, I probably would have never believed you. But PEB definitely earned it by not being good at hockey but looking like he tries hard.
Allison: Travis Konecny! That little dude has the heart of a lion, and he sure does show it every game. Konecny skates like he’s on fire, or at least like he’s very motivated. He also will drop the gloves if someone comes after a teammate. He body slammed Brandon Pirri. That was crazy. Anyway, he reminds me of a young Claude Giroux, so I’m sure in a few years, beats will be talking about how little heart he has as well.
Charlie: This is another "we don't have repeat winners" award apparently, because if that was allowed, Wayne Simmonds would win every year. But he deserves to win every year, so why not just make the easy choice?
Dylan: For me, this has to be Wayne Simmonds. In times when it looked like this season was never going to amount to anything, Simmonds always put his heart fully on the ice and his body on the line. Never afraid to protect his teammates, Simmonds was a natural presence on the ice. He embodies what being a Philadelphia athlete is all about.
Jay: Steve Mason. Sure, he has been "inconsistent" all season, but through injuries, coaching decisions and a horrific defense in front of him he has powered through to look like his old self to close out the season. I like to think the turnaround was enough to spite the coach, front office and fans that doubted him.
Joe: Wayne Simmonds.
Kelly: Wayne Simmonds. He's a leader, a badass, a mentor, and pretty much the best ever. He should get this.
Kurt: As Al mentions, this is the Zac Rinaldo award. In his memory, I’d love to give this to the player that the Flyers are going to draft this June with the third-round pick they got in a trade for Zac Rinaldo (the Flyers got a third-round pick in a trade for Zac Rinaldo, LOL), but I guess I should give it to a current, tangible hockey player who plays for the Flyers, shouldn’t I. Let’s go a little off the board here and give this one to Radko Gudas. The guy loves it here, he always gives his all and goes hard (and, this regular season, in ways that have almost always been legal!), and I enjoy watching him. Is that heart? Let’s say it is.
Steph: Wayne Simmonds. He should win this award every year.
Travis: Wayne Simmonds.
Bobby Clarke Trophy
Goes to the most valuable player on the Flyers, as voted on by the media.
2015-16 Winner: Claude Giroux
Al: This is depressing. Really depressing. I feel like this award shouldn't exist in years that the Flyers don't make the playoffs. Not as some stupid punishment or anything, but more because it's just so sad to think about. But Wayne Simmonds is good and cool and I like him and he is also good at hockey, so I would give it to him because he is a good boy.
Allison: Wayne Simmonds. Wow, it is, uh, a very strange thing not to immediately be writing Claude Giroux’s name for this. Wayne has consistently been a standout forward for the Flyers for years and with an absolutely crazy season, he was good enough to finally be recognized as a league All Star. He’s the All Star of my heart, and certainly is the Flyers’ MVP. Go Wayne!
Charlie: The only thing holding me back from giving Wayne Simmonds this award was his poor play-driving metrics at 5-on-5, but upon further review, those seem primarily due to the fact that he spent more minutes alongside Brayden Schenn (who couldn't push play in the right direction at evens this year to save his life) than any other forward. In the 508 minutes away from Schenn, Simmonds posted a strong 52.3% Corsi For percentage, so I'm willing to grant him a pass there. And aside from the 5-on-5 on-ice metrics, Simmonds' case is air-tight. He remains either the first or second-most valuable player on the top power play, and posted his second straight 30-goal season. He also emerged as a high-end penalty killer, turning him into a true all-situations forward. Unlike Giroux and Voracek, I can't say that Simmonds disappointed me in the slightest this year, and so I feel like he's the best choice for the MVP award.
Dylan: Wayne Simmonds takes this award easily. The top goal-scorer on the Flyers, he was named MVP after a beautiful performance in NHL All Star Game in LA. Although he has always been a top player for the Flyers, he really came into his own this year. On a down-year, he provided some much needed energy, leadership, skill, and excitement to inject some fun into Flyers games this year, and that is why he is my pick as the Flyers MVP.
Jay: Claude Giroux. This may seem like a strange pick, but honestly the team probably finishes close to the bottom of the league without him. He's still a vital part of this team's success (when they have some) despite the obvious decline in points and possession. Whether that has to do with age, injury or usage (or all the above) is anyone's guess. I don't think you can say the same about any other player on the team save for maybe Simmonds. Perhaps they should be co-MVP.
Joe: Wayne Simmonds.
Kelly: ANDREW MACDONLD. Lol jk it is Wayne Simmonds, who is the literal best. Heart and soul of this team.
Kurt: I usually at least try to think a little outside of the box when it comes to these awards, but ... acknowledging that the field is thin here, it’s tough for me to come up with an answer here that isn’t Wayne Simmonds. His 5-on-5 scoring numbers weren’t particularly good this year, but neither were those of basically anyone else on this team. He’s still the anchor of this power play — in fact, his 16 power play goals this year are a career-high. And not only that, in his first year killing penalties with the Flyers, he proved to be one of their best weapons there as well, making him that much more valuable on the whole. Couple that with his general badassery and he’s the choice here, I say. Also, he won a truck. Did any other Flyers win a truck? I don’t think so. (Please do not correct me if any other Flyers actually won a truck.)
Steph: Wayne Simmonds.
Travis: (Travis actively abstained from picking a Clarke Trophy winner. Shit’s gotten real bad, folks.)