I've reached the final round and am up against Dennis Kane and Four Habs Fans. Once again, I'm not quite sure what the prize is for winning, other than some bragging rights in the Habs blogosphere, but it would be fun if I did.
Should you feel so inclined, you can vote here, just know in advance that you will need to register with the site in order to cast a ballot. I'm trailing Dennis Kane by a fair margin right now, but I would imagine it's pretty early in the process, to use a favourite word of Jacques Martin's.
While on the subject of elections, I thought I would also note just how lucky the Canadiens were in the naming of Olympic team rosters. In my eyes, the four players who were in the running for Olympic spots but who could probably use the rest are the four guys who were snubbed.
Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek were playing far more than what was expected of them this season because of Andrei Markov's injury, and the two weeks off will likely do them some good, though I have no idea how Hamrlik was ignored when you look at the Czech defencemen who made the team.
Meanwhile, neither Scott Gomez nor Brian Gionta made the U.S. team announced after the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. Perhaps Gionta could have benefited from the experience, seeing as he missed 21 games, but Gomez may want to get a break so he can re-charge his batteries and start the season over. Besides, I don't think Gomez really deserved a spot, while Gionta probably did.
On the other side of the coin, I feel being the top centre for the Czechs should do wonders for Tomas Plekanec's preparation for the playoff stretch run, as he'll be playing the most intense hockey of his life. Jaroslav Halak will either improve his trade value just ahead of the deadline or sharpen his skills to take a run at Carey Price for the playoff starting job while playing for Slovakia. And the Kostitsyns will get all the ice time they can handle playing for Belarus, though I'm wondering if Sergei will be able to resist decking Mikhail Grabovski in practice.
Finally, there's Andrei Markov playing for a stacked Russian squad. I would say the Olympics should allow Markov to compensate for all the time he missed in the first half of the season, but really, could he be any more sharp than he is right now? Still, Markov should come back from Vancouver a better player, if that's possible, and if the Russians manage to win gold for the first time since 1992 it could light a fire under him to try and lead Montreal to another championship in the spring.
Stranger things have happened.