Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 3:05 p.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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2011 NHL Awards at the Palms
It’s the sports photo the experts said would never happen. For the second time in three years, Boston Bruins star Tim Thomas, who put up a shutout in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks eight days ago, won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive player.
Tim and Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo make no secret of their dislike for each other and on the ice are even worse rivals. Last night, though, at the 2011 NHL Awards at The Pearl at the Palms, they buried the puck long enough for one remarkable photo.
Photographer Tom Donoghue grabbed the magnificent moment, and the official NHL lensman said: “This had to be the first time they have ever posed together -- certainly as long as I can remember.”
Even after winning the Vezina twice, Tim has set his goal for a hat trick third time next season. “I feel I have plenty of good years ahead of me, and the goal is always to get better. I think that should be everybody’s approach in life at whatever they choose to do,” he said.
The second shocker of the night came when Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks was genuinely surprised at winning The Hart Trophy for the first time as Most Valuable Player, beating Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin and Tampa Bay Lightning veteran Martin St. Louis. Corey also won the Maurice Richard Trophy as the goal-scoring leader.
He brought his mom, dad and 88-year-old grandmother Dorothy to the celebration. To prove he’s a team player, he turned down management’s offer to fly first class to Las Vegas and instead flew coach with six pals.
It was a star-studded night with Mindfreak magician and Luxor headliner Criss Angel, Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond, country king Dierks Bentley, hip hop’s Far East Movement and actress Jennifer Beals all there for the red carpet before the awards hosted by Jay Mohr. Jay proudly showed off his unique socks on the carpet, and 85-year-old Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay, who posed with Criss, said real magic takes place on the ice.
Mad Men heartthrob Jon Hamm confirmed that he’s signed a three-year renewal with the award-winning AMC series. Donny posed with Vancouver Canucks star Ryan Kesler, winner of the Frank Selke Trophy, and his wife, and Dierks posed with Daniel, who won the Art Ross Trophy as leading point achiever in the league.
In fact, it’s worth noting that although Vancouver lost to the Bruins in the Finals, which sparked rioting in the west Canadian city, they went home with the biggest haul of trophies last night.
Palms owner George Maloof, who was ecstatic about hosting the awards for the third consecutive year, posed with Detroit Red Wings star Nicklas Lidstrom, the defenseman winner of the Norris Trophy for “greatest all-around ability” -- his seventh win. One more to go to tie legendary Bobby Orr.
Zdeno Chara, captain of the Bruins, won the Mark Messier Leadership Award presented to a player “in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community.” Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown was presented with the 13th annual NHL Foundation Player Award for his commitment, perseverance and teamwork to enrich the lives of people in his community.
Videographer Richard Corey reported that a new three-year deal to keep the NHL Awards here looks definite but that no imminent announcement is expected. Richard also reported that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars and attendees Adrienne Maloof, George’s sister, and Camille Grammer, Kelsey’s ex-wife, said filming is underway on Second 2 of the hit Bravo show.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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