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The 2012 NHL Awards from Row Q

By Tom

Before I became a blogger for Fox Sports Ohio, I was a quarter-season ticket package holder for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Thanks to the Blue Jackets’ creative month of giveaways for ticket package renewals, I was the lucky recipient of a prize that included a trip for two to the 2012 NHL Awards at the Wynn/Encore hotel/casino/resort complex in Las Vegas.

I brought my camera along, and here’s a collection of what I saw.  The photos often are not great, as I didn’t use my flash in the dark-ish theater (didn’t want to interfere with the television broadcast).  Regardless, I hope you will enjoy.

Let’s start with the pre-show photos…

The sign outside the ticket office...classic Vegas look

My ticket for the event. (WAIT - No photography???)

The red carpet was filled to the brim by the time we arrived, so the ushers moved us right into the theater.  We probably were among the first ten people to find our seats, which gave us time to watch the crew finish their last-minute preparations and people get seated.  (And the people-watching was pretty darned good, what with the hockey luminaries sprinkled amongst the evening gowns and occasional hockey sweater.)

The stage for the 2012 NHL Awards.


"Glee's" Cory Monteith walks through with stage managers


Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon on the way to his seat


Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, getting ready to watch Geno Malkin clean up.


St. Louis Blues president John Davidson

Had Mr. Davidson not been seated on the exact opposite side of the theater, I might have been tempted to put a good word in for Columbus with him.  But alas…

Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne


And then the show started.  With Nickelback.

The producers pre-taped the second song, giving us three doses of Nickelback.

With the musical performance concluded, the awards kicked into gear.

NBC's Pierre McGuire and Eddie Olczyk


NHL legend Ted Lindsay, about to hand out the award named after him to Evgeni Malkin


Former Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchock accepts the Jack Adams (coach of the year) Award for his work with the St. Louis Blues


Erin Andrews, presenting three awards


Steven Stamkos shows off his NHL 12 cover art to NHL 13 finalists Pekka Rinne and Claude Giroux


Entourage's Kevin Connolly


NHL legend Mark Messier takes the stage.


Henrik Lundqvist accepts the Vezina Trophy.


Evgeni Malkin accepts the Hart Trophy from Vince Vaughn.


With the show over, it was time for confetti...

The confetti closed out the show, and then it was time for the after-party.  The walk outside offered a surprise, however, as all of the trophies handed out during the evening were on display!

You can look, but don't touch!


The Conn Smythe Trophy for Stanley Cup playoffs MVP


The Lady Byng Trophy (for gentlemanly play) and...can someone help me identify the one in the foreground?


The Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for top goal scorer

Those were the photos I could quickly take of the trophies…we were moved down the hall and out to the after-party at the indoor/outdoor XS club:

It was a very nice event, and we had a chance to briefly say hello to Columbus Blue Jackets team leadership and thank them for this terrific award.

It was time for dinner, though, so we bailed out and passed by the red carpet crowd.  The folks gathered were hanging out behind the NHL Network post-show commentators and grabbing autographs from the many NHL luminaries present.

Wait a minute…look at that guy in the middle.  The blue shirt, the blue ball cap.  Could that be a Columbus Blue Jackets fan?

What do you know!  It was a CBJ fan!  I was so impressed to see Columbus represented in the autograph throng that I gave him my event ticket and a program.

So that was the evening…I’ll leave you with this photo, from the Wynn’s theater shop, which was stocked with NHL gear for the evening.  Check this out:

Does a Blue Jackets draft cap being situated next to the Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup champions cap count as a good omen?  I’ll hope so!

What a terrific evening…something I never thought I would have the opportunity to experience.  Thank you to the Blue Jackets for making it possible!



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