It's time to hand out the post-season awards for the Buffalo Sabres. I won't go into much detail as to why I selected the award because I still have a post-season roster breakdown scheduled. I'll hand out the awards in the same fashion as the NHL in that I have named the cyber-trophies after Sabres greats.
Dave Andreychuk Trophy (Top point scorer)
Derek Roy is the winner of the Dave Andreychuk trophy. Roy was second on the team in both goals (32) and assists (49) and led the team in points (81) this season.
Rick Martin Trophy (Top Goal Scorer)
For the second consecutive season the Sabres leading goal scorer was Thomas Vanek. Vanek finished with 36 goals after netting a hat trick in the final regular season game.
Danny Gare Trophy (Rookie of the year)
This was a tough one to pick because the Sabres could have used more support from their farm club. Rookie defensemen Mike Weber and Andrej Sekera stepped up at the end of the season but the rookie with the most impact was Patrick Kaleta. It won't show on the stat sheet but he had the most impact on the team. I commented before the season that he was not ready, and at the time he probably wasn't, but he proved he can be an NHL player.
Don Luce Trophy (Best defensive forward)
I could have gone in a bunch of different directions here but in the end I took the plus/minus leader of the team and gave the award to Jason Pominville. I will say that with some of the key mistakes he made in the defensive zone, it proves where this teams weakness is.
Pat LaFontaine Trophy (Leadership Award)
It was evident that this team had a void in leadership but the award went to Jochen Hecht. I do like the strides made by Derek Roy and Jason Pominville. Listening to Ryan Miller after the season, I am also encouraged that he will be a much better leader next season.
Craig Ramsay Trophy (awarded to the player displaying the most gentlemanly conduct)
Jason Pominville becomes the first player to win two awards and his play and numbers speak for themselves.
Dominic Hasek Trophy (Best Goalie)
I probably shouldn't even do this award because the starting goalie will always win but it's Ryan Miller nonetheless.
Mike Ramsey Trophy (Top Defenseman)
The winner of this award is a surprise pick after the way he played last season. I think the Sabres top defenseman this season was Jaro Spacek. He did exactly what he was brought here to do this season.
Mike Foligno Trophy (Unsung Hero)
Was anyone surprised at the season that Daniel Paille had? I never in my wildest dreams thought he would be the player he was scoring 19 goals in what is his first full season with the Sabres.
Gilbert Perreault Trophy (MVP)
The Sabres best player all season was Derek Roy. He came in with a lot of pressure and lived up to the billing. Many people were skeptical of the contract he received because he played behind Drury and Briere but he lived up to the contract and more.