LAS VEGAS — If there’s one common link between the Boston Bruins’ three award winners who were honored tonight at the 2009 NHL Awards ceremony at The Palms Casino and Resort, it’s perseverance in the face of naysayers and doubters.
Tim Thomas had to prove himself over and over for a decade on two different continents before he was given an NHL shot. Zdeno Chara had to convince people on two continents that someone as tall as some of the world’s biggest basketball players could succeed on ice. And Claude Julien had to rebound after two confusing firings before taking over the Bruins and turning around the franchise’s fortunes.
Tonight Thomas was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender, Chara won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman and Julien captured the Jack Adams Trophy as the coach of the year in the NHL.