MONTREAL, QC.– Cherry. McKenzie. Houde.
These names are familiar in the hockey world but not because you find them on the back of an NHL jersey or in the nightly boxscore. Love ’em or hate ’em, they are people behind the microphones, in front of the cameras, and the ones writing the stories who add to your hockey experience through their reporting. But just who are your favourites?
For the second year All Habs Hockey Magazine has reached out to conduct a web survey of hockey fans to rate the media. Traditional media and new media alike! Why All Habs? Well, according to CapGeek.com, we are the No. 2 new media website in hockey reporting.
We rounded up a blue ribbon panel to establish award categories and nominate the candidates. Unfortunately, the winners did not get whisked to Las Vegas for a lavish awards party but they will receive a handsome medalion and certificate signifying their accomplishment.
It is our little way of recognizing the fine work done by those who work as sports journalists and broadcasters in radio, television, print and online. The awards have fondly become known as the “All Habbies!”
So, who picked up the hardware?
Here are your winners for the 2012 All Habs Media Awards.
► 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.
Winner: Mitch Melnick (39% of the votes)
Runner-up: Ron Fournier
Also nominated: Randy Tieman, Mario Langlois, Tony Marinaro, Abe Hefter
2011 winner: Mitch Melnick
► 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.
Winner: Bob McKenzie (31% of the votes)
Runner-up: Pierre McGuire
Also nominated: Elliotte Friedman, Darren Dreger, Chris Nilan, Norman Flynn
2011 winner: Chris Nilan
► 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.
Winner: Arpon Basu (39% of the votes)
Runner-up: Francois Gagnon
Also nominated: Marc-Antoine Godin, Dave Stubbs, Philippe Cantin, Pat Hickey
2011 winner: Arpon Basu
► 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.
Winner: Elliotte Friedman (33% of the votes)
Runner-up: Pierre Lebrun
Also nominated: Joe Yerdon, Greg Wyshynski, Adam Proteau, James Mirtle
2011 winner: Elliotte Friedman
► 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.
Winner: Dany Dube (32% of the votes)
Runner-up: Pierre Houde
Also nominated: John Bartlett, Sergio Momesso, Marc Denis, Bobby Dollas
2011 winner: Pierre Houde
► Danny Gallivan Award for favourite national play-by-play person
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.
Winner: Gord Miller (35% of the votes)
Runner-up: Jim Hughson
Also nominated: Chris Cuthbert, Mike Emrick, Bob Cole, Dave Strader
2011 winner: Gord Miller
► Dick Irvin Jr. Award for favourite national 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.
Winner: Pierre McGuire (52% of the votes)
Runner-up: Ray Ferraro
Also nominated: Mike Johnson, Eddie Olczyk, Craig Simpson, Gary Galley
2011 winner: Pierre McGuire
► Scotty Bowman Award for favourite national 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.
Winner: Bob McKenzie (45% of the votes)
Runner-up: Kelly Hrudey
Also nominated: Don Cherry, P.J. Stock, Nick Kypreos, Keith Jones
2011 winner: Bob McKenzie
► 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.
Winner: TSN (57% of the votes)
Runner-up: NBC Pro Hockey Talk
Also nominated: The Fourth Period, The Hockey News, Yahoo Sports, Spector’s Hockey
2011 winner: new award
► 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.
Winner: All Habs (41% of the votes)
Also nominated: Habs World, 25 Stanley, Montreal Hockey Talk, Habs Eyes on the Prize
2011 winner: new award
► 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.
Winner: RDS (57% of the votes)
Runner-up: CTV Montreal
Also nominated: La Presse, Montreal Gazette, CJAD, Metro Pole
2011 winner: new award
► 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.
Winner: Cap Geek (37% of the votes)
Runner-up: Hockey DB
Also nominated: Behind the Net, The Goalie Guild, Daily Faceoff, Hockey Reference
2011 winner: new award
Congratulations to the winners! Watch for the 2013 All Habs Media Awards ballots coming in March.