Friday, December 29, 2023

A history of the Bourque Trophy for best final season, another fake award

Last week, we wasted your valuable time and attention with a made-up award. And as often happens, you readers responded with “Yes, OK, but what if it we made it even weirder?”

Specifically, reader Stan D. saw our piece on the Carson Trophy, a fake award for best sophomore player, and wanted to know what an annual award would look like for the player with the best final season.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce the Bourque Trophy. Named in honor of Phil for some reason Ray Bourque, and his final season in Colorado that saw him put up 59 points while finishing as a first-team all-star and Norris runner-up and the age of 40. I can’t remember how the playoffs went but hopefully those ended well for him too.

The rules: We’re looking for players who played their final season in a given year, although this is an NHL award, so players who subsequently head to Europe or elsewhere are fine. And while this award is very specifically for the best final season and not intended as a lifetime achievement award, voters will probably ignore this and factor in career accomplishments in close races. Stupid hockey writers, they’re the worst.

Finally, you may be wondering how the voters at the time would have known who had actually played their final season, given that some of these guys later attempted comebacks or went down to the AHL or tried to rehab injuries after what turned out to be their final season. Great point, and if this really bothers you, I’m going to suggest you take this whole thing a lot less seriously.

As with last time, we’ll head back to 2005 and cover the cap era. We probably won’t see as many great seasons as the Carson served up, but let’s see where this goes.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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