Let Me Explain

Posted on March 28, 2013 

      Sorry...can't explain it. There's absolutely no reasonable explanation for the injustice done to Snakes goalie Andrew Loewen. None.  

      I fill out a ballot every year. I try to do so fairly and conscientiously. I look at the numbers as well as think about how various players performed against the Cottonmouths, when I've personally seen them play.

      A disclaimer: I'm not permitted to vote for any Snake for any award. Not for the lack of trying...haha. Every year I send Doug Price an email, confirming this policy. Sorry, Kathy...no, you can't vote for the obvious choices of Matt Gingera for Rookie of the Year and Andrew Loewen for Goaltender of the Year. (I'm paraphrasing here...lol)

      There are two basic issues here: what criteria could possibly place Andrew behind Riley Gill. Secondly, should players no longer in the SPHL at the end of the season be eligible for its awards?

      I really believed that Andrew was a slam dunk for Goalie of the Year and first-team goalie. My first question to the voters who picked Gill for first team is: do you honestly believe that number of wins and number of shutouts trump record-setting GAA and save percentage? Seriously?

      If I'm a GM or coach in search of a goalie, I'd pick 25 wins over 1.74 GAA? 5 shutouts over .945 save percentage? Seriously?

      Andrew's numbers were the best in the league in NINE YEARS!! We're to believe they're third best THIS year? Sorry, I don't buy it. A case could be made for Andrew to be league MVP if you look closely at its definition and ask yourselves where the injury-plagued Snakes would be without him. When they scored a paltry 1-2 goals a game, he pitched a shutout. How valuable is that? Guess that's another question.

      I have never met Riley Gill. Wouldn't know him if he came up and hit me upside the head, which I sincerely hope he doesn't do. :) This has nothing to do with him. He's a great goalie. Actually, he's a great ECHL goalie...which is where he is now. He left Louisiana with a whole month of the season left. He's got a 10-2 record with Reading of the ECHL and a 1.18 GAA. Gee...will he be the first-team goalie in both leagues?

      How in the world can we name a guy as the league's best goalie if he's not even here anymore?? He chose to bolt to a higher league, a decision I completely understand. This is a business. He should've been there all along, probably. But with every decision comes consequences. He should have been ineligible for any post-season awards...except in the ECHL. Period.

      I've been a shareholder in this league since the summer of 2004. I've enjoyed watching it grow and the talent level improve. I've defended it against those who would call it bush league and a glorified beer league. But...

      I have no defense or explanation of the voters' snub of you, Andrew. It's embarrassing and a challenge to the credibility this league has worked so hard to establish.

      This was Andrew Loewen's year. He patiently labored in Ian Vigier's shadow for the past two years as the younger and less experienced, though very talented, goaltender. This season Andrew blew all of the previous 9 years of the goaltending records out of the water. Sorry...that would be the ones that count: GAA and save percentage. What more could he have done to earn top honors?

       Let me throw out an even more bizarre set of circumstances: the same man gets 2nd team honors AND goaltender of the year. Don't see that happening, and it would make little sense,  but it would make voting Andrew behind Gill a little easier to swallow. Not holding my breath. So, the league will award its top recognition to a goalie who left for greener pastures and ignore the one which shattered all of its records. Makes no sense at all.

       Shame on you, voters, and shame on the league for not setting guidelines for voting that would exclude players no longer on the roster at the time votes are cast.

       How ironic will it be if Andrew brings home the President's Cup?

       Stay tuned.

 

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