Vegas Ready to Host NHL Awards

The 2009 NHL Awards haven’t even started and I’m already tired just thinking about the schedule this week.

This year the NHL has a lot of major activities planned in Las Vegas. There are more hockey players attending, more celebrities attending. This is no small event this year. It’s bigger and flashier than ever.

Alexander Ovechin and Ryan Kesler are kicking off the festivities in front of Caesar’s Palace on Tuesday night. They will be participating in a motion-capture video shoot for the upcoming release of the video game “NHL 2K10.” The event takes place between 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. PT outside the front entrance of Caesar’s Palace. The event is open to the public.

On Wednesday, a long list of hockey players (both former and present) will be participating in the NHL Charity Shootout Presented by Pokerstars.net. Here are just a few names that will be participating: Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks), Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Mike Richards (Philadelphia Flyers), Jeremy Roenick (San Jose Sharks), Sheldon Souray (Edmonton Oilers), Steve Sullivan (Nashville Predators), Kris Versteeg (Chicago Blackhawks), and NHL legends Pat LaFontaine and Luc Robitaille. All proceeds will be donated to a charity of the participants’ choice.

On Thursday, the main event commences at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Hotel.

Here is the list of Awards with their Finalists:

BILL MASTERTON MEMORIAL TROPHY

Chris Chelios, Detroit Red Wings
Steve Sullivan, Nashville Predators
Richard Zednik, Florida Panthers

CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY

Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks
Kris Versteeg, Chicago Blackhawks

FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers

HART MEMORIAL TROPHY

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

JACK ADAMS AWARD

Claude Julien, Boston Bruins
Todd McLellan, San Jose Sharks
Andy Murray, St. Louis Blues

JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins.
Mike Green, Washington Capitals
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

NHL FOUNDATION PLAYER AWARD

Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
Alex Kovalev, Montreal Canadiens
Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets

VEZINA TROPHY

Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild
Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

The list of celebrities expected to attend are Robin Thicke, Chaka Khan, Snoop Dogg, Michael Buble, Kevin Connolly (Entourage), William Fichtner (Prison Break, Blades of Glory), Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice) and Colin Ferguson (Eureka).

Stay tuned to Inside Hockey this week as I report to you direct from The Sin City on the Awards’ festivities.

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