"The award, as they say, has found its hero."

All photos courtesy mhl.khl.ru and Russian Ice Hockey Federation

Congratulations are in order for Capitals prospect Dmitri Orlov, who was awarded the 2009-2010 Vitaly Davydov Trophy for Best Defenseman in the 2010 MHL Playoffs.  He had 19 points in 17 games as his Kuznetsk Bears made it all the way to the Kharlamov Cup finals before falling to the Magnitogorsk Steel Foxes

The trophy itself is an absolute beauty - it was named for and designed personally by legendary Soviet defenseman Vitaly Davydov and handmade in the traditional Russian ceramics center, Gzhel.

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The inscription reads:

"To the Most Valuable Player of the MHL, 2009-2010 Season"


Dmitri gave an interview to International Hockey's Dmitri Khristich:

- Congratulations!  How do you [like the] prize? It looks very unusual.
- Yes, but I really like. Nice to get this trophy.

- It has long been recognized that the most valuable player award the playoffs will get you?
- About a month or two ago. Parents have read on the website of International Hockey, that I will be awarded a prize Vitaly Davydov, and told me. [I was surprised], because most of the season I spent [playing for the pro team in the KHL]. But, again, very nice.

Do you think this prize, and generally start to the season in Novokuznetsk help "Bear" stop evil days?
-  I hope so.  In principle, the season has just begun, and there is still a lot of games. I think the guys are gathered. The more fans at home will help.  At home is always better to play. I'm sure the guys will try.

Vitaly Davydov was scheduled to award the trophy in person, but sadly, poor health prevented him from making the journey.

***

Note:  The playoffs were in May.  The trophies are just being awarded to the players now because the MHL (youth league partnered to the KHL teams) was formed only last year and those were the first playoffs ever for them. Vladimir Tretiak and the Russian Hockey Federation are trying to amp up the prestige factor of this new league, so they decided to name the individual prizes (Best F, Best D, Best G, and I think a MVP) after "living legends", with a unique trophy awarded in person by that legendary player.

We presume that at the end of this season, they will have the trophies made earlier and award them at a banquet in Moscow at the actual end of the season.

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