By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Tomorrow is the deadline for the Ontario Hockey League media to vote for the 2019 Red Tilson Award winner.
All 20 teams submit their nomination for the Outstanding Player on their squad and then the media across the OHL votes on who they think are the top 3 candidates.
Almost annually, I find myself caught in the dilemma of whether to vote for the " most outstanding " player or the " most valuable " player.
What's the difference ?
The best example I can think of was in 2008 when Justin Azevedo of the Kitchener Rangers won the award.
I thought Azevedo was the most valuable player in the league, the most pivotal player on the OHL Champion Rangers. He was a great player, no question.
But was he the " most outstanding " player in the league ?
Not in my opinion. To me, Steven Stamkos, who scored 58 times that year for the Sarnia Sting, was clearly the " most outstanding ".
This year, I have no such dilemma.
My # 1 choice is Sudbury netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen who certainly was outstanding winning 38 games, 6 by shutout.
As a testament to him also being the most valuable player for his club, look at the Wolves record when he was absent at the World Junior Tournament for Finland, a period in which Sudbury lost 7 straight games.
My second choice was Ottawa sniper Tye Felhaber, & the 3rd selection on my ballot was Morgan Frost of the Sault Ste. Marie. Justin Brazeau in North Bay also got a lot of consideration.
I also, for the first time ever, submitted a " Write In " candidate, naming the Schedulemaker as Kitchener's Tilson Nominee.
With no offence to Riley Damiani of the Rangers, the schedulemaker managed to slot 8 Kitchener games against Owen Sound AFTER the Attack traded Russell, Phillips, Hancock, Suzuki, Durzi & Roberts. Kitchener went 6 & 2 in those games, a major factor in why they finished 5th and the Attack fell to 6th.
I'm Fred Wallace