by Rick Stephens, AllHabs.net

MONTREAL, QC.– In a few short weeks, the eyes of the hockey world will be focused on the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, as the NHL recognizes its top talent for the 2011-’12 season.  Players will be hoping to cross the stage of the Wynn Resort’s Encore Theater to pick up coveted hardware from the legends of hockey who act as presenters.  For the past two years, Jay Mohr has handled the hosting duties and will do so again this year — Nickelback will perform at the awards.

That very same evening, in downtown Montreal, there will be a major awards presentation organized by a leading digital hockey magazine.  Coincidentally, the man behind the mic at this event is also named Jay; the only difference is that Jay Farrar at McLean’s Pub will tell you that he is funnier (he’s right!)  And we’re not sure about a musical performance but it’s safe to say that it will be better than Nickelback.

You guessed it: the crew of this fine publication will gather on June 20th to announce the winners of the All Habs Media Awards.  It’s the second year of our annual event designed to help you recognize the fine work done by those who enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of the game we all love.  They are writers, broadcasters, analysts, commentators and storytellers who contribute to the web, radio, television and newspapers.  The winners will receive a certificate and medallion recognizing their achievement.

You’ll notice that we have added four new categories to the popular list of awards from the inaugural event based on your feedback.  This year we will recognize the online contributions: websites and social media presence.  In assembling the nominees, we cast a wide net — like last year, the finalists were chosen by a blue ribbon panel that included hockey analysts, fans and family pets.

Is the list of nominees perfect? Probably not. Our aim was to include the people in the industry who you have likely encountered in following the Montreal Canadiens and NHL hockey.  We could have separated the media by language but we recognize that many of you choose a source you like rather than one determined by native tongue.
We followed the approach of a meritocracy — no attempt was made to balance language, gender or eye colour.
Please vote for your favourites, leave your comments and share with your friends. Voting will close on Sunday June 17 at 11:59 pm.
So, without further adieu, let me present the 2012 All Habs Media Awards!  You can call them “The All Habbies!”

 

► Lorne “Gump” Worsley Award for favourite Montreal sports radio personality

Gump Worsley was known as one of the most colourful players in hockey yet his goaltending earned him entrance to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1980. The broadcaster winning this award will combine the best of hockey information and entertainment.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Mitch Melnick (73% of the votes)

Who is your favourite Montreal sports radio personality?

  • Mitch Melnick (39%, 671 Votes)
  • Ron Fournier (18%, 308 Votes)
  • Randy Tieman (18%, 306 Votes)
  • Mario Langlois (12%, 208 Votes)
  • Tony Marinaro (6%, 107 Votes)
  • Abe Hefter (6%, 105 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,705

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► Dick Duff Award for favourite Montreal sports radio guest

Dick Duff was not a first-liner but he known as an impact player, and a clutch performer when it came to playoff time. Similar to Duff, radio guests have a short time to make their points and leave a lasting impression. The winner of this award will emulate the best qualities of Duff.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Chris Nilan (35% of the votes)

Who is your favourite Montreal sports radio guest?

  • Bob McKenzie (31%, 520 Votes)
  • Pierre McGuire (23%, 385 Votes)
  • Elliotte Friedman (17%, 293 Votes)
  • Darren Dreger (15%, 248 Votes)
  • Chris Nilan (9%, 147 Votes)
  • Norman Flynn (6%, 110 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,702

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► Red Fisher Award for favourite Montreal-based hockey writer

Red Fisher is closing in on a half-century of covering the Canadiens and is the role model for most mainstream hockey writers in Montreal.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Arpon Basu (59% of the votes)

Who is your favourite Montreal-based hockey writer?

  • Arpon Basu (39%, 558 Votes)
  • Francois Gagnon (21%, 298 Votes)
  • Marc-Antoine Godin (16%, 227 Votes)
  • Dave Stubbs (11%, 163 Votes)
  • Philippe Cantin (9%, 124 Votes)
  • Pat Hickey (4%, 60 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,430

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► Red Burnett Award for favourite national hockey writer

Red Burnett was one of the most knowledgeable hockey writers and an icon in sports journalism. The winner of this award is knowledgeable, opinionated and passionate in their writing following in Burnett’s footsteps.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Elliotte Friedman (62% of the votes)

Who is your favourite national hockey writer?

  • Elliotte Friedman (33%, 560 Votes)
  • Pierre Lebrun (28%, 477 Votes)
  • Joe Yerdon (17%, 289 Votes)
  • Greg Wyshynski (15%, 263 Votes)
  • Adam Proteau (3%, 56 Votes)
  • James Mirtle (3%, 55 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,700

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► Rene Lecavalier Award for favourite Canadiens broadcaster

Rene Lecavalier was the golden voice that Quebeckers relied on for coverage of the Canadiens for more than 30 years. The winner of this category can hope to captivate Habs fans with their description of the most beloved sport in the province.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Pierre Houde (41% of the votes)

Who is your favourite Canadiens broadcaster?

  • Dany Dube (32%, 364 Votes)
  • Pierre Houde (25%, 281 Votes)
  • John Bartlett (22%, 254 Votes)
  • Sergio Momesso (11%, 123 Votes)
  • Marc Denis (9%, 104 Votes)
  • Bobby Dollas (1%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,143

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► Danny Gallivan Award for favourite national play-by-play announcer

There was no one who could more colourfully describe a hockey game than Danny Gallivan spawning a whole new set of phrases to the hockey lexicon. Gallivan moved and excited fans setting the gold standard as a goal for the winner of this category.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Gord Miller (44% of the votes)

Who is your favourite national play-by-play announcer?

  • Gord Miller (35%, 474 Votes)
  • Jim Hughson (25%, 342 Votes)
  • Chris Cuthbert (17%, 229 Votes)
  • Mike Emrick (12%, 158 Votes)
  • Bob Cole (11%, 145 Votes)
  • Dave Strader (2%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,370

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► Dick Irvin Jr. Award for favourite national hockey colour commentator

Dick Irvin displayed the epitome of class in his role and incredible timing as he sprinkled gems of knowledge and interest throughout the broadcast. The award winner should be a compliment not a distraction to the hockey coverage.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Pierre McGuire (49% of the votes)

Who is your favourite national hockey colour commentator?

  • Pierre McGuire (52%, 750 Votes)
  • Ray Ferraro (21%, 310 Votes)
  • Mike Johnson (16%, 233 Votes)
  • Eddie Olczyk (6%, 80 Votes)
  • Craig Simpson (4%, 52 Votes)
  • Gary Galley (1%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,444

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► Scotty Bowman Award for favourite national hockey analyst

While Scotty Bowman was only a hockey analyst for a short period of time in his storied career, there are few who can break down the game better. The winner of this category can dissect, describe the game and effectively communicate his message to all hockey fans.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: Bob McKenzie (54% of the votes)

Who is your favourite national hockey analyst?

  • Bob McKenzie (45%, 747 Votes)
  • Kelly Hrudey (24%, 391 Votes)
  • Don Cherry (19%, 311 Votes)
  • P.J. Stock (9%, 156 Votes)
  • Nick Kypreos (2%, 31 Votes)
  • Keith Jones (1%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,647

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► Ralph Mellanby Award for favourite online coverage of the NHL

Ralph Mellanby graduated with a degree in Communications in 1958 and then proceeded to define the field of sports broadcasting through the Winter Olympics and Hockey Night in Canada.  The winner of this category is a leader in online coverage of the NHL using the web and social media tools.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: new award in 2012

Which website is your favorite for its online coverage of the NHL?

  • TSN (57%, 830 Votes)
  • Pro Hockey Talk (21%, 305 Votes)
  • The Fourth Period (7%, 101 Votes)
  • The Hockey News (7%, 96 Votes)
  • Yahoo Sports (5%, 80 Votes)
  • Spector's Hockey (4%, 53 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,465

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► Jacques Plante Award for favourite online coverage of the Habs

Jacques Plante was hockey pioneer being the first goaltender to wear a mask on a regular basis and leave the crease to play the puck.  The winner of this category is an internet pioneer and a leader in online coverage of the Habs using the web and social media tools.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: new award in 2012

Which website is your favorite for its online coverage of the Habs?

  • All Habs (41%, 696 Votes)
  • Vestiaire (38%, 651 Votes)
  • Habs World (7%, 126 Votes)
  • 25 Stanley (7%, 126 Votes)
  • Montreal Hockey Talk (3%, 58 Votes)
  • Habs Eyes on the Prize (3%, 48 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,705

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► Dink Carroll Award for favourite online coverage of Montreal sports

The work of Dink Carroll appeared in a Montreal newspaper from 1941-1987 covering everything from fishing to boxing to hockey.  The winner of this category provides comprehensive online coverage of Montreal sports.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: new award in 2012

Which website is your favorite for its online coverage of Montreal sports?

  • RDS (57%, 686 Votes)
  • CTV Montreal (15%, 183 Votes)
  • La Presse (10%, 119 Votes)
  • Montreal Gazette (10%, 117 Votes)
  • CJAD (8%, 98 Votes)
  • Metro Pole (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,206

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► Howie Meeker Award for favourite specialty hockey website

Howie Meeker was an innovator in hockey coverage known for making extensive use of a telestrator to enhance his hockey analysis.  The winner of this category provides in-depth specialty information for serious hockey enthusiasts.

2011 “All Habbies” winner: new award in 2012

Which website is your favorite for its specialty coverage of hockey?

  • Cap Geek (37%, 487 Votes)
  • Hockey DB (28%, 370 Votes)
  • Behind the Net (13%, 170 Votes)
  • The Goalie Guild (13%, 169 Votes)
  • Daily Faceoff (6%, 80 Votes)
  • Hockey Reference (3%, 45 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,321

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***

Thank you for participating by voting for your favourites in the second annual All Habs 2012 Media Awards!  You are encouraged to leave your comments.

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  • Uncle Leo

    I really like your awards concept, and the awards themselves. You pay homage to some very deserving hockey people, both past and present.

    I couldn’t improve on the existing awards, but I would like to propose one additional award:

    I would call it The Howard Cosell Award for “telling it like it is”.

    My one and only nominee? Rick Stephens of All Habs.

    It would be very easy to fall in line with the rest of the politically correct ass-kissers that are the vast majority of the media members who cover the Canadiens. Fortunately, Rick has more integrity than that. I can always depend on him for honest and intelligent insight unbiased by non-hockey nonsense like language.

    Whether it’s a player, coach or upper management, one should get neither more nor less credit than he deserves based on the language he speaks. I’m tired of francophones in the organization being deified and non-francophones being vilified without any recognition of their actual contributions to the team.

    Rick is one of the very few who has the courage to give credit where credit is due, and blame where blame is due. Period.

    For this, I present him with my Howard Cosell Award.

    Fantastic job as always, Rick. Don’t change a thing!

    • Thank you very much Leo. We’re grateful for the positive words about the All Habs Media Awards. Personally, I find myself humbled by your comments and feel honoured by the suggestion of an award. I would like to think that part of the appeal of All Habs is that we don’t have any interest in offering our readers the common Pablum-fare you find elsewhere.

      Thanks again. Your support is appreciated!

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  • this is very cool but i wish there was the option to write in your own candidate. there are some ppl i would like to nominate that arent here.

    • Glad you like the awards Mathieu. If none of the names is to your liking, we would love to hear from you. Write in the name of your nominee and the category in the comments section.

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