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Greg_Di
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It's time to revoke NHL General Managers' voting privileges for the Vezina  Trophy - Anaheim Calling

 

The Jake Wylde Trophy has stirred up some controversy over the last few seasons and in this article we will discuss to see what can be done to take away some of that controversy.

For those that don't know, the Jake Wylde Trophy is given out to the top defensive defenseman in the VHL. Should be pretty straight forward as its a trophy dedicated to those defenders who focus on the defensive aspect of the game. If you want to look at an offensive defenseman then you only have to look to the Alexander Valiq trophy. So why do points matter on a defensive award?

Since joining the league this had really baffled me. Defenders that were leading in Hits, Shots blocked and +/- were getting passed over due to defenders who had lower hits, shots blocked but had a significant point advantage. In my opinion points should not be a leading factor in determining a defensive award.

Lets take a look at S77 for example. The winner was Erik Killinger with an impressive stat line of 26 goals, 60 assists, 86 points, a +30, 177 Hits and 182 shots blocked. Erik was also on the 2nd best team in the league at the time which was London.

 

I will compare this to Tom Eagles (my player), while I do not believe I should have won the award (potentially considered for it) as there are other great candidates, I do believe though that in S77 Eagles was better defensively then the winner. Point wise Killinger definitely had me beat but that shouldn't matter for this award.

Eagles finished S77 with 13 goals, 47 assists, 60 points, a -9, 182 hits and 206 shots blocked. These stats were achieved on a non playoff team that had an overall goal differential of -13.

The stats I look at the most are hits and shots blocked as these are probably the top 2 defensive stats that we can look at in the VHL. Eagles played on a worse team and managed to use his body more to help his team defensively while playing on a team that had more losses then wins. Eagles also finished 4th overall in the league in shots blocked If Eagles played on a better team that season or put up 20 more points would he have been considered for the award?

If were comparing points, Killinger was definitely better. If were comparing defensive stats, as the award is for best defensive defenseman, we can argue that Eagles was a better player defensively on a non-playoff team. This is nothing to take away from Killinger who did have a great season, this is more to bring awareness that this trophy definitely needs a rework on how it is voted on.

 

The members that vote on this award should have discussions on how to change things up and truly make this a defensive award. We already have an award for best overall Defenseman and Offensive defenseman. For the Wylde trophy we should keep points out of it. Focus on Hits, Shots Blocked and also on the teams standing as it is a lot easier to get a very good +/- on a contender vs on a team that is rebuilding.

More transparency as to why the voters voted the way they did would also be nice, as this would eliminate a portion of the controversy surrounding this trophy. If the players can see the thought behind the votes they may be able to better understand as to why the votes go how they go for this trophy.  

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