2015 CWHL Awards

The 2015 CWHL Awards winners are as follows:

Humanitarian Award: Lois Mitchell

On the Board of Directors as a Governor, Mitchell is currently the Senior Partner of Rainmaker Global Business Development, which connects companies with business opportunities around the world. She is also on the board of several other organizations, including, variously, UBS Bank (Canada), Mitacs, and the Hockey Canada Foundation.

Probably more relevant to her receipt of the CWHL’s Humanitarian Award, she currently co-chairs the Gold Medal Plates dinner in Calgary in support of current and aspiring Canadian Olympians, as well as co-chairs the True Patriot Love dinner in support of the Canadian Military. She’s also variously involved in philanthropic efforts for post-secondary institutions, the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, a former chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and a past board chair of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Coach of the Year: Dany Brunet

In his second season as head coach of the Montreal Stars, Dany Brunet took the team to a regular season 14-9-1 record, and 2-0-1 in the 2015 Clarkson Cup.

Rookie of the Year: Brianna Decker

This Boston Blades forward scored 32 points in her rookie year, and it’s even more impressive when you realize those points were in only 12 games. She first put on a Boston jersey for a game in mid-January, slotting into an already established team and excelling.

Goaltender of the Year: Charline Labonté

There’s no confusion here this year! The Montreal Stars goaltender finished top of the league in the regular season with a .927 save percentage, and second to Boston’s Lacasse with a 1.89 goals against average. (Labonté also played more games than Lacasse.)

Defenceman of the Year: Tara Watchorn

This Boston Blades defender had 20 points in 21 game, and was a solid presence on the blue line for the team.

Angela James Bowl: Rebecca Johnston

As we noted in the preview, the Calgary Inferno forward had 37 points in 24 games, 17 goals and 20 assists. This is her first season with the Inferno– she was acquired by Calgary from Toronto before the beginning of the season. Although no offensive slouch while with Toronto, her numbers vastly improved with Calgary this season. With Team Canada last season, she had two goals and three assists in Sochi, in five games. While with Toronto in the 12/13 season, she had 8 goals, 17 assists in 24 games.

Most Valuable Player: Rebecca Johnston

See above.  🙂 More seriously, Calgary’s massively improved their offense this year, and while Johnston has been a key contributor to that, she’s also helped to develop and shape the offensive style and play of the team overall.

Chairman’s trophy: Boston Blades

The regular season champion, the Blades had 35 points in a 24 game season, going 17-6-1 in the season. Notably, two of those loses were loses due to a labor dispute, not actual games played.

2015 CWHL Awards Preview

What are the Awards?

The Chairman’s Cup:

For the CWHL regular season champion. The previous winner was the 2013-2014 Montreal Stars. Expect to see Boston this year.

Angela James Bowl:

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Regular season leading points scorer. The award is named after Team Canada alumna Angela James, one of first two women inducted into HHOF. Previous winner: Ann-Sophie Bettez of the 2013-2014 Montreal Stars, with 40 points in the 2013-2014 regular season. Expect to see Rebecca Johnston up for this award this year.

The Humanitarian Award:

Samm Holmes (Manager of Hockey Operations), Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Brenda Andress (CWHL Commissioner) and Chairman of the CWHL Board, Brad Morris.
Samm Holmes (Manager of Hockey Operations), Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Brenda Andress (CWHL Commissioner) and Chairman of the CWHL Board, Brad Morris.

To recognize a player making a positive impact on and off the ice in their communities. Previous Winner: Cassie Campbell-Pascall

Coach of the Year:

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Previous Winner: Sommer West, 2013-2014 Toronto Furies

Rookie of the Year:

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Previous Winner: Jillian Dempsey of the 2013-2014 Boston Blades, with 28 points.

Goaltender of the Year:

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Previous Winner: Delayne Brian of the 2013-2014 Calgary Inferno.

Defenceman of the Year:

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Previous Winner: Cathy Chartrand of the 2013-2014 Montreal Stars, with 30 points.

Most Valuable Player:

Previous Winner: Ann-Sophie Bettez.

Notably, only the Chairman’s Cup and the Angela James Bowl are strictly based on points. The other awards are based on a combination of regular season stats and voting by the league and teams. You may remember my confusion over the selection of Delayne Brian last year, as she was not the best goaltender in the league last year. She was, however, arguably one of the most key goaltenders, however, so expect to see that kind of argument behind this year’s pick.

Of other, interesting note, is that anyone who was head coach however long this last season is eligible for the head coach award. With two head coaches leaving their teams this year, this could be relevant. While I don’t know that I would expect him to win it, my pick previously had been Calgary’s former head coach Kevin Haller, based on the improvement to the team this season. While some of Calgary’s improvement is definitely their GM’s doing, as there were trades and acquisitions done to improve Calgary’s store of players, they’ve also just been a straight up better team this year. But we’ll see how things shake out, come Wednesday, March 4th!