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Examiner
  • Bill Althaus: Votes prove Mavs' Thinel is highly respected in CHL

  • It is now apparent that I am not the only one noticing the brilliant season that Missouri Mavericks forward Sebastien Thinel is enjoying.

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  • It is now apparent that I am not the only one noticing the brilliant season that Missouri Mavericks forward Sebastien Thinel is enjoying.
    Time and time again I have compared his exploits on the ice to the once-in-a-lifetime season George Brett enjoyed back in 1980 when he led the Kansas City Royals to their first World Series appearance and flirted with the .400 mark.
    Thinel dominated the Central Hockey League’s Best of the Best poll, which was released Friday morning. CHL players, coaches and operational staffers voted and the Mavericks were represented in 24 of the 50 categories with the Mavericks captain winning Best Overall Player, Best Playmaker, Most Valuable to His Team and Most Gentlemanly.
    “I’ve been around a long time and been fortunate to win some honors,” said the former CHL scoring leader and MVP, “but I’ve never received this many honors. It’s nice, especially coming from your peers.”
    Thinel leads the CHL in overall scoring (86) and assists (61). What makes that assist total even more impressive is that he plays with different lines of a nightly basis and no other member of the Mavericks is in the top 25 in scoring.
    He is also among league leaders and leads the Mavericks with a plus-25 plus-minus rating.
    “He will undoubtedly go down as one of the best, if not the best player at the Double-A level of professional hockey,” Mavericks coach Scott Hillman said.
    “He went through an adjustment period last season, and we are seeing the real Sebastien Thinel this season. I had the honor of playing with Sebbie in (now-defunct) Odessa, and I saw him do some amazing things. But he has been amazing this season, just amazing. Nothing he does on the ice surprises me.”
    Thinel’s play is a big reason Kenton Miller is a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
    “When you play with Sebastien,” Miller said, “you better be ready to get the puck. He puts it on your stick and always puts you in the best position to put the puck in the back of the net.
    Even goaltender Mike Clemente appreciates Thinel’s brilliance on the ice.
    “Everyone thinks of him as a great offensive player, but he can get it done defensively and he’s great on the PK (penalty kill). And I’ve never been in a locker room with a better leader.”
    The off-the-ice accolades are what have the most impact on Thinel.
    “I’ve played so long, and I want to help the young guys any way I can,” Thinel said. “If I can help at practice or in the locker room, I want to be there for them. And I want them to know that I am always there for them.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Forward Colt King was the other Mavericks player to rank first in an individual category for Best Body Checker.
    “Kinger has been a real force, added a real presence to this team,” Hillman said. “Like Sebbie last year, it took a while for Kinger to really find his niche, his role with this team and now, he is just invaluable.”
    The Mavericks tied for the most first-place finishes with 12, including seven awards not related to the play on the ice. Mac, the team Mascot, won Best Mascot, and Steve Garrett was named the best PA Announcer. Missouri also won Best Uniforms, Best Game Notes, Best Use of Social Media, Best On-Ice Promotions and Most Attractive Place to Play.
    Missouri finished second in five categories: David Simoes was second for Best Fighter (Pound for Pound) and King finished second for Best Power Forward. The ice surface at Independence Events Center was second and the Mavericks website also finished second. For the second straight year, the Mavericks’ fans finished second to Rapid City for Best Fans.
    The Mavericks were third in seven categories: Thinel was third for Best on the Power Play, Dave Pszenyczny was third for Best Defensive Defenseman and King finished third for Best Fighter (Pound for Pound), The Independence Events Center (Best Arena), press box at the Events Center and the Missouri Mavericks Wranglers (Best Booster Club) all finished third in their respective categories.
    Missouri had two players in the category for Most Gentlemanly as John-Scott Dickson was third, joining Thinel.
    To view the entire list, click here or go to MissouriMavericks.com or CentralHockeyLeague.com.
    Bill Althaus is a sports writer and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at bill.althaus@examiner.net or 816-350-6333. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
     
     

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