July 31st, 2011

At last, we arrive at the coda of the 2010-11 AFHL season, the AFHL Awards. The Amazing Fantasy Hockey League will spend the next few hours cringing at Mike Meyers’ jokes, staring at just what Steven Stamkos is wearing (another shiny suit from the Puff Daddy collection?), and wondering how they could have an awards ceremony without giving some hardware to Crosby or Ovechkin. Okay, maybe that’s just Commissioner Furino — you’ll see him drowning his sorrows in fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them.

And, for the second straight year, I, Harry Beaver, will be live-blogging it all. So grab your drink and pull up a seat. It’s going to be a fun night.

Pre-Show: Red Carpet Arrivals

6:02 PM: Broadcasting is now underway and right now the camera zooms in on the red carpet. Let’s get on with it!

6:03 PM: First limo has arrived and Goldsboro Rebels’ GM Rich Mauch steps out and onto the red carpet.

6:04 PM: Mauch is wearing a white tuxedo with a tie that has a bunch of little Rebel logos on it.

6:07 PM: Giants GM Mike Phelan has arrived. Lots of ladies whistling from behind the baracades. Sorry ladies – he’s not for sale.

6:10 PM: Toronto GM Jordan Carbone and Victoria GM Chris Hartley have arrived at the same time.

6:11 PM: Hartley runs up to Carbone and begins pitching a trade offer to him that involves a first round pick. TV is not loud enough to hear what players are involved.

6:17 PM: Oshawa City GM Earl McNeill has arrived. He’s a true gentleman. Ha. He’s wearing the same suit as last year. It’s great how he doesn’t care. Like Vince Vaughn in Dodgeball.

6:20 PM: Victoria GM Hartley is in an interview talking about some of the big names he has acquired via trades this summer. New Vipers include Carey Price, Nicklas Backstrom, and Rick Nash.

6:25 PM: New Mustangs’ GM Matt Plachta has arrived. He’s looking very much the cool cat in a classic black suit, white shirt and black tie.

6:28 PM: Lots of people already on the red carpet but no major star players yet… just the GMs and heaps of media (approximately 500!) plus industry people and of course, security.

6:32 PM: Red Wings’ GM Barry Hickey has arrived. He’s greeted by Leafs GM McNeill. Victoria GM Hartley sees Hickey and approaches him for trade talks but Hickey ducks behind a group of about 10 people. Hartley is persistent!

6:35 PM: Montreal GM Keith Cancilla has just arrived with his wife and daughter.

6:37 PM: Someone has arrived wearing a bike helmet! Oh no… wait, that’s just a bad Beatles haircut.

6:40 PM: North Bay GM Mike Brunetta has arrived with his buddy Ryan Armstrong GM of the Ottawa Knights. Both are wearing black tuxedos and ties with their respective team colors.

6:42 PM: Many are speculating it has come down to a two-horse race tonight for the Best GM gong – Warriors GM Brunetta up against former Washington GM Irwin. Both are incredible GMs and deserving winners whatever the outcome.

6:43 PM: Chiefs GM Mike Nellany has arrived. A lot of people are very happy to see him. Some are afraid to see him. He’s the leading candidate to win the Best Trash-Talker award tonight. Don’t piss him off!

6:48 PM: Killers GM Steven Stryska has arrived.

6:49 PM: Stryska is wearing all navy and a new darker ‘do, which makes him look like a Johnny Depp impersonator. His date is his mom since his fiance is at home nursing a hangover from last night.

6:50 PM: New Washington GM Rick Charron has just arrived. That man has very large shoes to fill.

6:51 PM: Charron greets Comox Valley GM Pat McKenna as he arrives.

6:52 PM: McKenna is a nominee for the Jack Adams trophy for best GM. Probably won’t win because of the other nominees but certainly well deserving. He did a tremendous job getting into the playoffs with a team that was pegged as the worst in the league.

6:55 PM: Other new GMs Phil Svoboda and Kurt Ritchie have arrived.

7:04 PM: Ritchie and Svoboda begin talking with some reporters and both say they are very excited to be at the AFHL Awards Show.

7:06 PM: Montreal GM Keith Cancilla is on the side of the red carpet talking to one of the chefs about the amazing food being served today… they have smoked salmon in the shape of hockey players.

7:11 PM: Star players are now starting to arrive including Taylor Hall of the Red Devils and Sidney Crosby of the Phantoms.


7:14 PM: In an interview with a news reporters, Hall says the Red Devils may surprise a lot of people next season.

7:15 PM: Speaking of Phantoms, GM Daryn Beckman just arrived with his girlfriend. Beckman has received one of the loudest welcomes from the crowd so far.

7:19 PM: Beckman greets Heroes’ GM Kyle Kebert as he arrives. Kebert looks very classic in his tux, and his wife also appears very elegant.

7:22 PM: Kebert just said in an interview that it took him a while to process the loss to Washington in the Cup Finals a few months ago. “I went through some stuff”. Can he bring his team back to the big show for a third straight year? “I believe I can”.

7:25 PM: More players arrive including Rebels’ forward Jeff Skinner who is up for the Calder trophy. I’m guessing that once the awards show is over, that’s the end of calling Jeff Skinner “Bieber”, right? It’s like Sid the Kid. Those nicknames won’t be cute when they’re 36.

7:30 PM: New GM Jason Briggs has just arrived looking very snazzy in a pinstripe suit. Briggs shakes hands with GM Cancilla and several others.

7:32 PM: Buffalo GM Beckman is angry that it’s hot. If you’ve all seen Beckman when a trade is made that he doesn’t like, you know how angry he can get.

7:41 PM: The media is now going wild trying to take shots of the Washington Power players who have just arrived with the AFHL Stanley Cup.

7:45 PM: News flash – Most of the stars interviewed on the red carpet are rooting for their own teammates or GMs to win tonight. Shocking, I know. At least they’re honest.

7:49 PM: Most of the GMs in the AFHL are too nice. This league needs more guys like Daryn Beckman, sometimes a loose cannon who can fly off the handle at any time. We’ve got 10 minutes left here. I’m demanding a GM fly off the handle and start taking shots at other GMs.

7:53 PM: The red carpet is starting to wind up now… most of the major stars and nominees have arrived and are being asked to take their seats.

7:56 PM: AFHL Commissioner and Manhattan GM Tony Furino has arrived, very late, with his new girlfriend. She’s russian and her body is smoking. Some players and GMs still lingering on the red carpet are getting in trouble from the organizers for not going inside, so funny!

7:57 PM: 2010 Vezina winner Ryan Miller of the Pittsburgh Heroes is the last interview of the red carpet. He recalls as a nominee that when your category comes up the blood rushes to your head and all you can hear is gibberish.

The Main Event – 2011 AFHL Awards Show

8:01 PM: The awards show starts with a funny introduction that has the host, Mike Meyers, learning how to trash-talk from each of the nominees for this year’s Best Trash-Talker award.

8:03 PM: The funniest part of the bit is when Chiefs’ GM Mike Nellany teaches Meyers how to trash-talk. After Meyers fails to impress, Nellany shows him how it’s done by causing a scene in an office sketch…

(Two employees are working in an office. A phone rings and one of the employees picks it up.)

Employee #1: Accounts receivable. Can you hold?

(Chiefs GM Mike Nellany opens the door and enters, wearing a tight shirt that reads “DEER PARK CHIEFS.” The audience cheers in recognition of the recurring character.)

Nellany: Hey!

Employee #1: Can I help you?

Nellany: Yeah, I’m lookin’ for my lady.

Employee #1: And who would that be?

Nellany: Her name’s Kathy, she’s a total fox; and you turkeys are making her work overtime, which is bull crap. And I’m here to talk some trash and possibly even kick somebody’s ass!

(Kathy enters the office.)

Kathy: Mike, why aren’t you at work?

Nellany: I took a sick day ’cause I’m sick of all the bull crap they put you through here!

(Nellany and Kathy begin to make out.)

Nellany: What are you lookin’ at? You makin’ eyes at my lady?

Employee #1: No.

Nellany: Well, that’s good. ‘Cause if I catch you makin’ a move on my lady, I’m gonna make a move on you. It goes something like this.

(Nellany demonstrates his fighting moves.)

Kathy: Mike, you are so romantic.

Nellany: Well, let me show you something right out of a Hallmark card.

(Nellany begins making out with Kathy again but stops in reaction to her bad breath.)

Nellany: Somebody had liverwurst for lunch.

Kathy: I should get back to work.

Nellany: You get back to work, baby. I’m just gonna make stay here and make sure no one gives you any bull crap.

(Another employee enters the office.)

Employee #2: Who are you?

Nellany: I guess you don’t watch the Weather Channel. I’m Hurricane Mike.

(Nellany imitates storm noises.)

Kathy: Hurricane Mike, he’s my boyfriend.

Employee #2: Oh, I’m sorry. Thanks for the invoice.

(The employee taps Kathy on the shoulder to thank her for the invoice, and he begins to leave.)

Nellany: Whoa, hey man! You think I’m just gonna let you get away with coppin’ a feel off my girlfriend like that?

Employee #2: I just tapped her on the shoulder.

Nellany: Oh, really? You know what? That’s all I’m doin’ to you, man.

(Nellany pushes the employee.)

Nellany: You got that, turkey? You wanna dance?

Employee #2: Hey, look, I don’t want a fight!

Nellany: Well, you know what? You should have thought of that sooner, turkey, ’cause you’re goin’ down!

(Nellany begins hitting the employee lightly and ends up on the floor. This doesn’t seem to impact the employee at all.)

Employee #2: Hey, you okay, man?

(Nellany gets up.)

Nellany: A better question is are you? ‘Cause I could go again.

Employee #2: No, no. I think I learned my lesson. Thanks.

(The employee leaves the room.)

Nellany: You’re welcome, turkey! You okay, baby?

Kathy: Yeah. God, you make me feel like a treasure, I swear.

Nellany: Well, that’s what you are. [imitating a pirates voice] Aargh! I’ve come to collect me gold!

(Nellany and Kathy begin to make out on a desk as the first employee watches in disgust.)

Nellany: What are you lookin’ at?

Employee #1: I just find it amusing when people dry hump each other in an office environment.

Nellany: Ho, ho, ho, ho. Somebody’s lookin’ for trouble. Well, let’s see if I can find some.

(Nellany points to his right arm muscle.)

Nellany: Right there! There’s some!

(Nellany points to his left arm muscle.)

Nellany: Oh, there’s some more!

Employee #1: I’ve seen what kind of fighter you are. I don’t think you wanna go through with this.

Nellany: Oh, then let’s dance, turkey! Come on, let’s go!

Kathy: Go easy on him, Mike. He’s got babies at home.

Employee #1: I’ll give you the first shot. I need the massage.

Nellany: Oh, okay, man! You’re goin’ down, turkey! Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble!

(Nellany begins hitting the employee lightly and ends up on the floor again. This doesn’t impact the employee at all. A woman named Tina enters the office with another employee.)

Tina: What’s going on here?

(Nellany gets up.)

Nellany: Oh, I’m just kickin’ ass and takin’ names, darlin’. What’s your name?

Tina: Well, I’m Tina, and I’m in charge here.

Nellany: Oh, let me tell you somebody who you’re not in charge of: that hot fox right there with the crispy bangs. And she’s tired of all your overtime bull crap, Tina!

Tina: Look, I just gave her the extra hours ’cause, well, she requested ’em.

Nellany: You are a lyin’ turkey lady.

Kathy: She’s not lyin’, Mike. I did request the extra hours ’cause I was tryin’ to pay off my new tattoo.

(Kathy lifts up her shirt to reveal a tattoo on her stomach that read “PROPERTY OF MIKE.”)

Nellany: Oh, baby!

(Nellany and Kathy begin making out. Several more employees enter the room.)

Tina: Oh, no. no, this is… Hey! Hey! Kathy, you’re fired. And you, get out of here, turkey!

(Nellany shoves Tina.)

Nellany: Don’t call me turkey, turkey!

(Tina shoves Nellany onto the floor.)

Tina: Oh, yeah, turkey!

(Nellany gets up.)

Nellany: You’re goin’ down, lady. You’re goin’ down.

(Nellany begins lightly hitting Tina and ends up on the ground, once again. The employees begin chanting for a fight. Kathy climbs on top of a desk to speak.)

Kathy: Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Doon’t get him mad! What are you stupid? You get him any madder, and you are all gonna end up in the hospital!

(Nellany gets up.)

Nellany: Don’t worry, baby. I’m gonna save the fire for when I really need it in the AFHL. Bunch of turkeys!

Kathy: I love you, Mike. I just love you.

Nellany: I don’t blame you. Come on, baby. Let’s go.

(Nellany tries to pick Kathy up but he is to weak to do it. So, they make out with each other as they leave the office. The audience cheers as the sketch comes to an end.)

8:15 PM: After the sketch, Mike Meyers appears on the stage and welcomes everyone to the annual celebration of excellence. He mentions that there’s almost 6,000 people in attendance and says there’s lots of awards to be given out. He then throws it to a video montage of all the highlights in the AFHL from last season that concludes with the Washington Power winning the Stanley Cup.

8:20 PM: Meyers introduces the recently retired defenseman Brian Rafalski to present the first award of the night.

– – – – – – – –

Norris Trophy ~ For the top defenseman

The nominees are…

Lubomir Visnovsky (Buffalo Phantoms)

Nicklas Lidstrom (St. John’s Red Wings)

Kris Letang (Washington Power)

Dustin Byfuglien (Comox Valley Hitmen)


And the winner is… Nicklas Lidstrom (St. John’s Red Wings).

8:28 PM: Lidstrom scored 16 goals and 46 assists for a total of 62 points in 82 games played last year. 39 of those points came on the powerplay.

– – – – – – –

8:29 PM: Meyers introduces a surprise guest to present the next award. Former WWE wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson appears on stage.


8:30 PM: The audience laughs as The Rock trash talks Mike Meyers. Rock calls Meyers a “candy ass” and tells him to know his role and shut his mouth.

– – – – – – –

Trash-Talker Award ~ For the best trash-talker

The nominees are…

Mike Nellany (Deer Park Chiefs)

Steven Stryska (Fort Drum Killers)

Daryn Beckman (Buffalo Phantoms)

Tony Furino (Manhattan Supermen)

Andrew Fiorentino (Los Banos Wolves)


And the winner is… Mike Nellany (Deer Park Chiefs).

8:39 PM: This is the second time Nellany has won the Trash-Talker Award. During this past year, he stole the headlines in the AFHL by engaging in some of the most memorable trash talking showdowns in AFHL history. Most legendary was his showdowns with Killers GM Steven Stryska.

8:41 PM: Nellany winning the Trash-Talker Award is a no brainer. He goes above and beyond to entertain and humor us with his trash-talking skills. Well deserved, for sure.

– – – – – – –

8:43 PM: Future Hall-of-Famer and recently retired Peter Forsberg is introduced to present the next award.

8:44 PM: Forsberg talks about his rookie year and how it can be a difficult learning process for many rookie players.

– – – – – – –

Calder Trophy ~ For best rookie

The nominees are…

Michael Grabner (Toronto Red Devils)

Jeff Skinner (Goldsboro Rebels)

Corey Crawford (Oshawa City Leafs)

James Reimer (Comox Valley Hitmen)

Logan Couture (Ottawa Knights)


And the winner is… Jeff Skinner (Goldsboro Rebels).

8:48 PM: Skinner scored 31 goals and 33 assists for 63 points in his 2010-11 rookie campaign.

8:49 PM: Skinner immediately congratulates the other nominees and thanks his friends, family, and Goldsboro GM Rich Mauch for selecting him in last year’s entry draft. He adds that he looks forward to helping the Rebels get into the postseason next year.

– – – – – – –

8:55 PM: Hall-of-Famer Mario Lemieux appears on stage to present the Lady Byng Award.


Lady Byng Award ~ For best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct

The nominees are…

Mike Phelan (Boston Giants)

Earl McNeill (Oshawa City Leafs)

Barry Hickey (St. John’s Red Wings)

Keith Cancilla (Montreal Xtreme)


And the winner is… Barry Hickey (St. John’s Red Wings).

8:59 PM: Hickey says “It’s not a woman’s trophy”. After acknowledging his fellow nominees, he thanks the AFHL Commissioner and his family. Classy gent all the way.

– – – – – – –

9:10 PM: After Meyers tells a few jokes about how some of the players are dressed, hall-of-fame goaltender Mike Richter is introduced to present the Vezina. This one is going to be close. If I was a betting man then I would say Rinne here.


Vezina Trophy ~ For best goalie in regular season

The nominees are…

Roberto Luongo (Washington Power)

Pekka Rinne (North Bay Warriors)

Jonathan Quick (Comox Valley Hitmen)

Henrik Lundqvist (Deer Park Chiefs)


And the winner is… Pekka Rinne (North Bay Warriors).

9:16 PM: Rinne posted 33 wins, 6 shutouts, 2.22 GAA, and a .930 SV% for the North Bay Warriors in the 2010-11 regular season.

9:17 PM: He gets in a short joke and congratulates the Power on their Stanley Cup win. He then thanks his family and the Warriors organization.

– – – – – – –

9:25 PM:Wayne Gretzky appears on stage to present the trophy for MVP.

Hart Trophy ~ For the player judged most valuable to his team in the regular season

The nominees are…

Daniel Sedin (Pittsburgh Heroes)

Pekka Rinne (North Bay Warriors)

Roberto Luongo (Washington Power)

Jonathan Quick (Comox Valley Hitmen)

Alex Ovechkin (North Bay Warriors)


And the winner is… Pekka Rinne (North Bay Warriors).

9:31 PM: This is Rinne’s second award of the night. As mentioned before, he posted 33 wins, 6 shutouts,a 2.22 GAA, and .930 SV% for the Warriors in the regular season.

9:33 PM: He immediately pumps Luongo and Sedin’s tires before thanking the Warriors and his family once again. He then goes on to say he’s looking forward to playing for the Mustangs in this coming season. Trades are a part of the business.

– – – – – – –

9:46 PM: We’re almost to the finish line here. Last award is for GM of the Year.

9:47 PM: The AFHL Commissioner Tony Furino appears on the stage and introduces the five new AFHL GMs to present the final award of the night. Vikings GM Phil Svoboda, Stars GM Kurt Ritchie, Thunderwolves GM Jason Briggs, and Power GM Rick Charron.

9:49 PM: All five new GMs walk out together and take turns speaking into the mic.

Svoboda: As you all know, having the ability to inspire and motivate is a gift, as is the ability to make trades, win games, brew rivalries, post comments on a message board, and write team news articles.

Ritchie: This year’s nominees for GM of the Year have these gifts among an elite group of men in the AFHL.

Briggs: That’s right. Each of these GMs continue to re-energize the league and contribute to league participation with their own unique perspective…

Charron: … And commit themselves to THE WORLD’S MOST AMAZING FANTASY HOCKEY LEAGUE.

(Audience cheers.)

Charron: YES! Here are the nominees…

Jack Adams Trophy ~ For best coach/GM of the Year

The nominees are…

Barry Hickey (St. John’s Red Wings)

Pat McKenna (Comox Valley Hitmen)

Ray Irwin (Washington Power)

Mike Brunetta (North Bay Warriors)

Chris Hartley (Victoria Vipers)


And the winner is… oh, we have a tie here…

The co-winners for best coach/GM of the Year are… Ray Irwin (Washington Power) and Mike Brunetta (North Bay Warriors).

9:52 PM: All nominees are well-deserving of this award. I think what it came down to was winning. Both Irwin and Brunetta did a fantastic job in building their franchises and taking their teams from last place to first place in a period of only 12 months.

9:53 PM: Brunetta and Irwin meet each other at the podium on the stage, shake hands, and congratulate each other. Both give short speeches basically saying it was a year they will never forget, obviously, and that it’s been a lot of fun. They acknowledge the AFHL commissioner and their friends and family and thank them for their support.

– – – – – – –

9:55 PM: The AFHL Commissioner Tony Furino joins them at the podium, congratulates and thanks them for their participation in the league. Both Brunetta and Irwin walk off to the backstage area.

Furino: I think all of you would agree it’s been a great couple of years here in the AFHL, and when you look back at this past season, what a year it was with the Washington Power winning the Stanley Cup in the end. There’s 6,000 of us here in the hotel, each one of us would love to shake his hand, what can you do but finish a Cinderella story with a great ovation here, let’s bring him back out here, the newest recipient of the Jack Adams trophy and Stanley Cup… Mr. Ray Irwin!

(Ray walks back out onto the stage carrying the AFHL Stanley Cup and gets a standing ovation.)

Furino: What a year for the Washington Power and Ray Irwin. Ray, how have you been since you retired shortly after winning the Cup just a few months ago?

Irwin: I’ve been good. Spending lots of time with the family. Been busy with my new business building motorcycles. Everything’s good.

Furino: Can you tell us about your favorite highlight from last year?

Ray: Umm, probably after we won that final game. I think just winning and hoisting that 32 pound Cup. It was great… it was really special.

Furino: Now, many words come to mind when you think of Ray Irwin, but I think the two words that stand out the most are perserverance and determination. You had some setbacks throughout the year with injuries and things that happened not just on the ice but off the ice as well. If you were to speak to young fantasy hockey GMs, new GMs in the AFHL, including your successor, Rich Charron the new GM of the Washington Power, what advice would you give them?

Ray: Well, I think you gotta have fun, you gotta have passion for the game and umm, one obvious thing is, never quit until you win, then go out as a winner. Because I’ll tell ya, this is worth it. I’ve been playing fantasy hockey for over 10 years, it’s been awesome. I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported me over the years. It’s been a blast and it’s been well worth it. Thank you.

Furino: Ray Irwin everyone!

(Ray gets another standing ovation as he walks off to the backstage area.)

Furino: That’s our show tonight. I’d like to thank all GMs for doing a super job this year, to all the winners, to all the nominees, to all the fans of the AFHL, wherever you are in the world, whichever side of the clouds you’re on and watching, hope you enjoyed this 2011 odyssey of the most amazing fantasy hockey league on earth. Looking forward to a great 2011-12 season. Thanks and goodnight.

10:00 PM: Audience applauds as music plays and screen fades to black.

– – – – –

*** All trophies will be added to Team Pages within the next week or so.


Trader Award ~ For the GM who made the most trades

Winner… Chris Hartley (Victoria Vipers)

Maurice Richard Trophy ~ For the top goal scorer in the regular season

Winner… Corey Perry (Goldsboro Rebels)

President’s Trophy ~ For the team with the best record at the end of the regular season

Winner… North Bay Warriors

Art Ross Trophy ~ For the player who leads the League in scoring points at the end of the regular season

Winner… Daniel Sedin (Pittsburgh Heroes)

All-Star Game Winning Coaches/GMs

Winners… Power GM Ray Irwin and Wolves GM Andrew Fiorentino

Conn Smythe Trophy ~ Playoffs MVP

Winner… Roberto Luongo (Washington Power)

Stanley Cup ~ League Championship / Winner of Playoffs

Winner… Washington Power

Adolf Nipple

Adolf Nipple

Amazing Fantasy Hockey League Staff

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