50 WORDS OR LESS: The Nystrom Trophy
Several Islanders received heartfelt nominations for this season's Bob Nystrom Trophy,
given to the Islander who best exemplifies work ethic, leadership and dedication. Among the 500 emails sent so far, the bulk of the nods have gone to five Islanders: Kevin Colley, Rick DiPietro, Jason Blake, Shawn Bates and Trent Hunter.
I'm voting for Shawn Bates. In a disappointing season, he's hustled every night, not always scoring, but doing little things that get overlooked. He's a leader in the locker room by all accounts. He's played through pain. If anyone deserves recognition for leadership, hustle, and dedication this season, it's Shawn.
Kevin Colley's very short career on the Island was defined by his perseverance, hustle, and disregard for his own body. Unfortunately, he'll never play again, but he can always claim to have given his all in the NHL. An Islander forever.
Jason Blake, hands down. No one hustles more than he does, and no one is more deserving.
New Hyde Park
My vote goes to Kevin Colley. His example on the ice is what makes him a great and true leader. If all Islander players were to follow his example then we would have a fifth Cup to brag about.
West Haven, Ct
Kevin Colley gave his all every single shift and it is very tragic that he will no longer able to play hockey anymore. I hope people still remember him, but he definitely gets my vote.
Jason Blake exemplifies all that is hard-working, dedicated and devoted on this team. On most shifts, he carries the team on his shoulders. His hustle clearly motivates those who are on the ice with him to step up their game. Blake baby, Blake.
First let me just say Bobby Ny was my favorite growing up. As far as the award this year I think that Joel Bouchard deserves it. He turned out to be a great pickup for the Isles this year and I hope to see him around next year. Eric Godard gets an honorable mention from me as well. He keeps getting better and better earning more ice time and is always there for his teammates.
My vote goes unanimously to #7 Trent Hunter. He never stops working and hustling. He shows up for every game, no matter who the opponent is. This is a no-brainer! Thank you for the super effort Trent!
Miroslav Satan, no question about it. He's been the Islanders' best player this year, leading by example. He's responsible in his own zone and his offense speaks for itself.
I think the award should definitely go to John Erskine. Ever since he joined the team in January, he has never hesitated to defend a teammate. His leadership and work ethic defensively set examples for other members of the team and he deserves this award.
Rick DiPietro should win the Bob Nystrom Trophy because he carried the team for most of the season. Before the Olympic break and until this point in the season he has revitalized the team. He has almost single-handedly won games and taken a lot of pressure off of the rookies.
Jason Blake is always flying around the ice, taking hits and slashes from the other team, sacrificing his body for the team. The score, or where the Isles sit in relation to the playoffs never seems to matter. He works hard every shift.
You've got to look to Big Game Trent Hunter for the award, hands down. Generally not wordy, Hunter leads by example - including leading the team and very nearly the league in hits. He's filled every role his team has asked him to - scoring, checking, outright demolition... what more could you want?
I vote for Jason Blake. He plays with so much passion and heart each and every shift.
Chris Campoli's hard work and dedication didn't go unnoticed by this Islander fan. Enduring many roster changes in his first NHL season, he's remained reliable and exuberant as mistakes never phase his mental game. I look forward to seeing him in an Islanders jersey for a long time.
Ricky. He never gave up.
I can't remember when a player was so quickly embraced as Kevin Colley. In a handful of games he brought excitement, hustle and dedication that were quickly embraced by the fans. What happened to Kevin was a personal tragedy, and a tragedy of what might have been for the Islanders.
Trent Hunter undoubtedly deserves the Bob Nystrom trophy. He throws his body around every game and forechecks like the Isles are down 1-0 with 2 minutes to go every shift. He backchecks and shows the young guys what it means to work hard and try to win. Trent Hunter is the formula a team needs to win a championship.
Jason Blake is our man. Maybe not as tough as Bob, but has all the hustle, fire and dedication that made Nystrom and now Blake, invaluable.
North Bay, ON
Mike York. If you've seen him play this year, then no further comment is necessary.
Although not an Islander for very long, could anyone have possibly exemplified those three traits more than Kevin Colley? We may never know what he would have been capable of accomplishing, but we will never forget what he gave us while he was here.