Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: hart trophy
From Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy:
One point of contention during the debate, typically used when arguing who is more valuable to a team, is the “take the player off the team” angle, comparing how the Capitals and Penguins would be if Ovechkin and Malkin were not in the lineup. Obviously, both teams have decent talent around them that if they were not in the lineup one night, they wouldn’t suffer too poorly.
While Ovechkin and Malkin are pretty much certain to have their names included on the final list of MVP nominees, who deserves to fill the third slot?
In a more general sense, which one of the following players deserves the hardware?
Check out the list and cast your vote.
Also at PD, check out Greg Wyshynski’s entertaining interview with Cam Ward, discussing everything from his current streak of starts, to his concerns about ending up with a “porno bobblehead.”
From Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
I buy into the argument that the Hart should go to the player adjudged most valuable [to] his team. If you want a flat-out best player in a single season award, call it the Wayne Gretzky and we’ll move on, but whatever criteria you use to determine this thing the guard has clearly been changed. The new generation of NHL stars has arrived and, for now at least, Ovechkin and Crosby or Crosby and Ovechkin are likely to lead the way.
That doesn’t augur well for stellar stay-at-home defencemen or 2.00 and lower Goals Against Average goalies, but so be it.
Update 11:28am ET: More thoughts on the Hart from Jeff Z. Klein at Slap Shot in the New York Times.
Alan Ryder at the Globe & Mail:
The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player judged to be “the most valuable to his team”. Although a literal read of this clearly means that a goaltender ought to win this prize each year, the award has typically (nearly 90% of the time) been presented to the NHL’s most impactful skater, as judged by the voters. And the Hart has usually gone to a forward (about 80% of the time). This year’s ‘nominees’ (the top three vote getters) were forwards Jarome Iginla, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin.
The Lester B. Pearson Award is awarded to the player judged, by his peers, to be “the most outstanding player”. In the voting for the NHLPA’s award the players have shown an even greater bias towards forwards than do the hockey writers who choose the Hart winner.
continued with Ryder’s picks and analysis of all the contenders
Update 3:20pm ET: Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated also Handicaps the NHL Hardware today.
Alexander Ovechkin is the winner of the 2008 Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League’s most valuable player to his team.
That is, according to the NHL’s online shop for a few hours on Friday.
The league’s official website briefly displayed a blue Reebok Washington Capitals T-Shirt of the Russian superstar, with the title ‘2007-08 Hart Trophy winner’ splashed across the bottom.
“The Hart Memorial Trophy, originally known as the Hart Trophy, the “oldest and most prestigious individual award in hockey,” is awarded annually to the Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League,” the sales page read.
Update June 7th: From the CP via the Toronto Star,
A league source attributed the gaffe to a mistake by a third-party distributor, while pointing out shirts are created for every possible scenario. Should Ovechkin not win, the T-shirts would be destroyed.
From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,
It’s almost time to vote for the Hart Trophy and I’ve got to be honest, I am not even close to picking my winner.
I will say, though, I have narrowed it down to four candidates – goalies Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, left winger Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and right winger Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.
I firmly believe, had Sidney Crosby not missed so much action with that high ankle sprain, he would have repeated as the Hart winner. Oh well.
Update 5:50pm ET: John Glennon at The Tennessean wonders this about Ovechkin,
“His energy and his passion — if you could bottle that and stick it inside your players — you would have an unbelievable team.’’
It sounds like the description of an MVP, but there’s a catch. The Capitals are in a position similar to that of the Predators, two points out of the playoff picture with nine games remaining in the season.
Hence the question: Should Washington fall short of the postseason, should Ovechkin win the MVP? The last player to accomplish such a feat was a guy named Mario Lemieux, who did it while playing for Pittsburgh in 1986-87.