Well, not yet, but at least Alex Kovalev has been nominated for an award, though it has absolutely nothing to do with what he accomplished on the ice this season.
The NHL announced today that Kovalev is one of the three nominees for the NHL Foundation Player Award, which is awarded to a player "in recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community."
Kovalev is up against Rick Nash and Dustin Brown, with the winner being announced at the NHL's misguided awards show to be held in Las Vegas on June 18. This at least means that one member of the organization will be present at the awards.
I don't want to belittle the significance of this nomination, as it is recognition of the quiet off-ice work Kovalev does without ever really spouting off about it, unless it's warranted. When asked about his off-ice work in the community at the Habs post-mortem, Kovalev said he prefers that stuff remain quiet and that he be evaluated based on his performance on the ice. I thought it was a pretty genuine answer. Say what you will about the guy on the ice, no one can argue that he's not a caring member of the Montreal community.
Here's the little bio on Kovalev's charitable work provided by the NHL:
"Alex Kovalev has devoted a significant part of his life to helping children in need, both locally and abroad. He created the Kovalev and Friends Foundation for Children which supports the transfer of medical knowledge by having doctors travel to Kovalev’s homeland – Russia – to perform surgeries and teach skills to local surgeons. The Foundation also benefits children in Quebec with heart conditions through summer camps and other initiatives.
"Each season he hosts more than 300 sick and underprivileged children at Canadiens home games in the “Kovy’s Kids Suite” at the Bell Centre, providing them with food, gifts, autographed tuques, games, arts and crafts and visits from alumni and the team mascot. This past season, he raised $12,000 to support the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation by autographing tuques which he helped design and that were sold at a Canadiens home game.
"In March 2008, he released his hockey tips and training methods DVD, donating 100% of the proceeds - $120,000 to date – to the Gift of Life Foundation, an organization whose mission is providing life-saving, open-heart surgeries to children. His first annual golf tournament held in the Montreal region in August 2008 raised $160,000 for his newly created foundation. Kovalev was awarded the 2008 Jean Beliveau Trophy as the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualities in the community and remitted the $25,000 donation to the Kovalev and Friends for Foundation for Children.
"He continually lends his support to the charitable efforts of the Montreal Canadiens -- including the annual golf tournament, hospital visits, blood drives, festivities with children and meet and greets."