Hawks Shut-out Of League Awards – Nino 2nd Team All-Star

Photo Credit - Mick White

First off…congratulations to rookie forward Nino Niederreiter for being named to the WHL Western Conference Second Team All-Star squad as it was announced today by the WHL.

Niederreiter posted 36-24-60 in 65 games, finishing second amongst rookies in goals scored and seventh in rookie scoring in the WHL this season.

Niederreiter was the only Hawk to be honored in the post-season awards.

Forgive me as I go on a bit of a rant, but I fail to see how Mike Johnston was not named the Western Conference nominee for Coach of the Year for 2009-10.

No offense to Craig Hartsburg, his Everett Silvertip squad had a tremendous season, but no team has made the strides that the Winterhawks made in 2009-10.

The Hawks win total increased from 19 to 44 and the point total went from 43 to 91 in one season.   Everett increased their win total from 27 to 46 and points from 63 to 97.  For Johnston, that is six more wins and 14 more points than Hartsburg, all while having one of the youngest teams in the league.

For Johnston to get snubbed for this honor is an injustice, IMO.

Other Hawks that I thought might get honored, but didn’t, were:

Chris Francis for Most Sportsmanlike Player — Francis finished the season with 82 points and only 20 penalty minutes having played in all 72 games.   The honor went to Spokane d-man Jared Spurgeon who had 51 points and 18 penalty minutes in 54 games.   Francis averaged .28 PIM’s per game to Spurgeon’s .33.  It must have been the one extra roughing minor that Francis took to put Spurgeon ahead of him (Francis had 3 on the season, Spurgeon had 2).

Niederreiter or Ryan Johansen for Rookie of the Year — Shane McColgan was selected for this and I have no issue with that, but Niederreiter and Johansen were, or should have been, in the running as well.

You can see the entire list of the selections here...



  1. I think your getting pretty chincy getting right down to the .33 and .28 The league made a decision,live with it Andy.

    Also Everett went on a 14 or 15 game wining streak after christmas after a very mediocre first half. The hawks never even got close to a streak like that. Hartsburg is a great choice, your just being very biased.

  2. Hey John…
    I thought it was Coach of the Year…not Coach of the Half-Year?

    Biased? Me?



  3. Andy, I agree totally! I waited anxiously for the news release of the Western Conference thinking I should see at least 2 maybe 4 names on it… Same with you, I just felt that Nino or Johanson (Rookie), Coach Johnston, and perhaps Chris Francis (Sportsman) and/or Brett Ponich (Humanitarian)… To tell you how I feel about this oversight would be detrimental to the actual player/coach selections; suffice to say I was very disappointed.

  4. A coach that puts up a huge wining streak and is tied in points for first place in the conference is better than a coach who wins a few and losses a few all year round.

  5. Congrats on your improvement this year, you’ve come along way. But still have a ways to go. To downplay what EVT did, a .500 team, who played .800 hockey down the stretch and almost won the division. Your team had the lead the first two months and couldn’t hold it. You were 16-0 against Western Conference Special Olympics teams(Seattle & PG). So that makes Portland 28-25 against the real teams. I’m not impressed. Maybe the other coaches and GMs of the conference weren’t impressed with the 6 PM underwear show with the guys on the ice. Not exactly my idea of Victoria’s Secret, but could be Mike’s. Maybe then if this practice stops the other people in the league may give some respect. Congrats on your 5th place finish.

  6. I’d have given it to Hiller.

  7. You know, the Hawks might not have won 14 in a row this season, but what they did this year compared to the last four, any fool can see a huge difference. Now for people like Hector who see things in a stat kind of way, I’m going to break it down for everyone. Evt vs Sea 7 and 3 for 70%, PDX vs Sea 12 and 0 for 100%, Evt vs PG 3 and 1 for 75%, PDX vs PG 4 and 0 for 100%, and the one we all have been waiting for PDX vs Evt 5 and 5 for 50%. So if Sea and PG are “Special Olympics Teams”, why did Evt go 71% over all against these teams and not 100%? Also why did Evt go 50% against PDX and not better? Just one more thing for everyone to see since we are on stats. Evt’s two netminders faced 1,426 shots less the Sae’s Pickard, yet their save % isn’t much higher nor is their G/A much better then Pickards. Hell, with numbers like that AND being named to the #1 team of the Western Conference All-Star squad, being part of a “Special Olympics Team” must be a good thing.

  8. Just wanted to say about the COY. I don’t think Hartsburg is a bad choice. It should have been Hiller if the AMS wouldn’t have stumbled so badly down the stretch (my homer pick). With Hiller just being fired and the perceived “lack of talent” on the AMS roster, most prognosticators had the AMS picked to finish below the Winterhawks this year. But I do think Johnston should have got the Executive nomination over Bob Tory. I think you could argue some other coaches did more with less talent than Johnston did this year, but I’d find it hard to argue that any team put together such a talented roster in so little time. From a GM perspective the talent the Johnston has recruited to Portland has been fantastic and IMO should have been recognized for that.

  9. To those who want to downplay the Winterhawks for how far they have come this season, we’ll just let the playoffs do the talking.

  10. Hector,

    You have all the charm of a moth ball. Trying to make a “joke” about the Special Olympics is low class. I think only you and Obama think it is funny. Grow up!

  11. hey guys:

    the hawks blew a 2 goal lead at home in the 3rd period to the Chiefs in game 1 of the playoffs, and u guys are complaining about post season awards. Who cares. The hawks just dig themselves a 3 foot hole.

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