Fans Choice 2011 winners revealed
The fans have spoken in chicagoblackhawks.com's Fans Choice Awards 2011! We asked our fans to make their picks for the best of the Blackhawks' 2010-11 campaign across numerous categories, and you cast more than 25,000 votes in under two weeks of voting!
Coming into the NHL as a 19-year-old, defenseman Nick Leddy (38 percent of vote) had a steep learning curve; but by the time he became a full-time Blackhawk in January, he more than proved he belonged. Between Rockford and Chicago, Leddy nearly played more games this season -- his first as a professional -- than he had in the past two years between college and high school. Still, the young blueliner's poise and steady play gave the coaching staff confidence to play him in crucial moments in both the regular season and playoffs.
Runner-up: Michael Frolik (30%)
After four seasons spent mostly in the American Hockey League, Bryan Bickell (40 percent) seized the opportunity as a full-time NHLer, becoming a steady scorer and one of the Hawks' more physical forwards. In his first full season in Chicago, Bickell's 17 goals were good for fifth-best on the team, and his 178 hits was third best on the team behind only Brent Seabrook and Troy Brouwer. In five playoff games he scored two goals and added two assists before being forced out by an injury.
Runner-up: Brent Seabrook (27%)
Captain or not, it's hard to think of a forward who was more important to his team this season than Jonathan Toews (56 percent). Not only did Toews lead the Blackhawks in a number of categories, including points, faceoffs won and game-winning goals, but he also served as the team's emotional leader through the grueling NHL season. The NHL's Player of the Month for February, The Captain got better as the season went on and was a major part of the Hawks' late-season eight-game win streak.
Runner-up: Patrick Sharp (35%)
Brent Seabrook (42 percent) was a strong force on both ends of the ice in 2010-11. As usual, he was a tough, physical defenseman, leading all Chicago blueliners in hits (227), and provided a stable defensive presence. But he also upped his offensive game this season, setting career marks in assists and points, and got a lot of ice time with the Blackhawks' top power-play unit.
Runner-up: Duncan Keith (25%)
The best players tend to come through at the biggest moments, and Jonathan Toews' Game 7 goal at Vancouver (42 percent) on April 26 was further proof. With the season on the line and Chicago down by a goal late in the third period, not only did Toews come away with a puck knocked free by Brent Seabrook and carry it deep into Vancouver's zone, but his great second effort got Marian Hossa's rebound past the Canucks' Roberto Luongo.
Runner-up: Ben Smith's Game 6 OT-winner (29%)
It was a long time coming for netminder Corey Crawford (40 percent), but the 26-year-old at last got his shot at the NHL, and he made the most of it. Though he was slated to be the backup, Crawford quickly grew into a starting goalie and was impressive beyond his years. "Crow" did some of his best work in the playoffs, making big stops at crucial moments in the Vancouver series.
Runner-up: Jonathan Toews (37%)