Although it may come as no surprise to New York Islanders fans, it did come as a surprise to many hockey fans across North America when Michael Grabner was announced as a finalist for the Calder award given to the best rookie.
I have gone over what makes Grabner so great many times on this blog, and this nomination alone vindicates that.
Do I think Grabner has a good chance of winning? No, I think both Logan Couture and Jeff Skinner are much more likely to take home the trophy.
But that is all this award is, a trophy. The Islanders have already made off like highway bandits when Garth Snow did his homework and grabbed Graber (pun intended) off the waiver wire. Once the Islanders lock up the fastest skater in the NHL for a long term contract then they can really start to pat themselves on the back.
It is nice to know that the Islanders will be represented at the NHL Awards night this season, and maybe next season the whole team will be headed to Vegas for a different reason.