Last night marked the NHL’s bold move to Las Vegas for the 2009 NHL Awards, a city known for its long-standing hockey tradition. Most excited by the move were of course the League’s Eastern European players, all of whom were provided with an opportunity following the ceremony to mingle with their estranged sisters and cousins at Cheetah’s and Crazy Horse.

In fact, the only person more excited about this year’s venue was Jeremy Roenick, who was finally blessed with a forum in which he could pull off this look (sort of):

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The big winner on the night was Sir Alex, who walked away with the Maurice Richard, Lester Pearson and Hart Memorial trophies (the last of which of course named after Canada’s native son, Corey Hart). Here’s a quick summary of why:

Even hockey legend Dennis “Elbows” Leary made a surprise appearance last evening (in a video that I would mock if I were not otherwise sobbing like a little girl…)

Unfortunately, as is typical for media events such as this, the true spirit of the evening was lost amid the media hordes and the flashbulbs. For while everyone was chomping at the bit to see who would win the Vezina or the Lady Bing, they all forgot what the night was really about: the hotness of the players’ wives.

And so, in celebration of the true essence of the the NHL Awards, we present an ode to the Wives (& Girlfriends) of the NHL. Top honours go to the following players:

1) Dion Phaneuf

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2) Mike Modano

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3) Sheldon Souray

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4) Mike Comrie

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5) Wayne Gretzky (simply because the Wayner always wins)

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