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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Can Connor McDavid win the Hart Trophy?

There’s no doubt in my mind that Connor McDavid is the best player in the NHL. He consistently the most electrifying player on the ice regardless of the opponent. With that said, can he realistically win the Hart Trophy if the Oilers finish around the 70 point mark?

There is a sound argument FOR McDavid to win the award. There have been many nights where he’s appeared to be the only Oilers interested in competing and he’s managed to stay in the NHL’s scoring race despite being on a lottery team. You could say that he doesn’t deserve to be punished for the incompetence around him, and that’s fair.

On the flip side, you could argue that while McDavid was valuable to his team, he wasn’t valuable to any sort of team success, because there was nothing successful about this Oilers season.

The last time a player won the Hart Trophy and missed the playoffs in the same year was the 1987-88 season when Mario Lemieux was named MVP despite the Penguins missing the playoffs. Still, the Pens only missed by two points and Lemieux’s 70 goals were 14 ahead of second place, while his 168 points were 19 ahead of Wayne Gretzky. He had a dominant year for a team that was in the playoff picture.

The comparison isn’t great because of the way the game is played now and how many goals are scored when compared to 1987, but it would take a miracle for the Oilers to even get close to the playoff conversation and while McDavid is having a great year, his season simply hasn’t been head and shoulders above everyone some other players.

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There’s no doubt that Connor McDavid will be in the conversation for the Hart, but I believe that there may be some players more deserving of the award, simply because their efforts have led their teams to playoff races.

Nathan MacKinnon has led the Avalanche jump from the basement to a playoff race and despite being hurt for a few weeks, he’s still 13th in points.

Blake Wheeler is having a career year out in Winnipeg and the Jets are one of the best teams in the west. He also stepped up in a big way when Mark Scheifele went down with an injury.

It seems like every time the New Jersey Devils win, Taylor Hall is scoring goals. He’s on a 23-game point streak and is clearly the biggest reason why the Devils are in the playoff race.

I could keep going on with some of the names out of Tampa, Johnny Gaudreau and more. The point is, there are plenty of players who could be MVP candidates with their teams in the hunt for the playoffs, which is something Connor McDavid can’t say.

Like I said earlier, there’s no doubt McDavid is either the best or one of the best players in the NHL. But in a year where the Oilers have struggled so much, he and the team will likely have to go on a historic tear if he wants a legitimate chance to win the Hart Trophy.

  • toprightcorner

    The NHL needs to change the definition and call it an MOP (Most Outstanding Player). The best player is a lot easier for voters to decide on than guess who was most “valuable” to their team and their success. It usually ends up going to the scoring leader if there team was in the top 10 of the league. It can go to a high scoring player if a team has a significant improvement over last year. The problem is that nobody knows how exactly how more valuable one player is over another. I would say that without McDavid, they would likely have 31st place locked up by now.

    The only wan McDavid is considered is if he ends up leading the scoring race by 8+ points and ends up with 38+ goals. Even then, its 50/50.

  • Connor McFly

    If Katz/Nickleson/Chiarelli trade RNH I’m finished with the Oil. Ever since that wimp Nickleson has taken over the entire Oiler organization is in the toilet. What a loser Katz is. Any organization as dreadful as this one is a total embarassment to Canadian hockey and the NHL. I’m cancelling Sportsnet and getting the NHL package so I don’t have to watch this mess and at least watch teams who love and execute the game like pros. The utter calamity which is the Oil is disgusting. Since Nickleson has arrived the Oil have shipped all of Schultz, Hall, Eberle and soon to be Nuge. Un-freaking-real!
    How many draft picks also walked for next to nothing. Anyone recall the brilliant call on Reinhart?

  • Arfguy

    I would love to see McDavid win the Hart trophy. I don’t think he will. What is more conceivable is he win the Art Ross. That is something he will win, provided he has the right line combination.

    McDavid for Art Ross should be the drive for the Oilers the rest of the season. At this point, I don’t think the organization will be hurt too much by trying to boost McDavid’s stats.

  • RJ

    Oilers Top-10 Scoring

    1. McDavid – 79
    2. Draisaitl – 58
    3. Nuge – 32
    4. Lucic – 31
    5. Strome – 30
    6. Russell – 21
    7. Nurse – 20
    8. Cammalleri – 20
    9. Khaira – 18
    10. Puljujarvi/Klefbom – 17

    The Hart Trophy is awarded annually to the “player judged most valuable to his team”.

    There’s no player more valuable to his team than McDavid. The Oilers would be in 32nd without him.

    • crabman

      but voters won’t even look at a bottom 5 team for the most valuable player especially since a large portion of the voting comes from the east that don’t even watch the Oiler games. I’m not claiming conspiracy but Oilers need to stand out heads and shoulders to win awards. Always have.
      Yakapov lead rookies in scoring didn’t even finish top 3 in rookie voting.
      Nuge lost to Landeskog dispite have as many points in 20 less games.
      And McDavid didn’t win because his season ended early do to a freak injury even though he was one of the league’s best players let alone best rookie.
      We know McDavid is the most valuable player but the ones voting will hold the Oilers’ record against him.

      • RJ

        Voters read it this way:

        “Player judged most valuable to his playoff team”.

        I get that. I was just making the case that based on the definition alone he should win.

        I’m with you on Yak and Nuge not winning ROY. McDavid was a weird one because he was a great scorer but Panarin also had a great season.

        I think most of them just don’t want to recognize the Oilers.

    • HOCKEY83

      A player that is most valuable to his team raises the play of other players on his team. Who’s stats there does it look like he’s raised. It should be Malkin’s or Kucherov’s trophy. Those 2 players make both of their teams better. I’d give it to Malkin.

  • OilBlood

    McDavids unreal but it doesn’t matter. Teams not making the playoffs so why should he get the Hart?

    most valuable player to a loser team that spent the entire season in the bottom of the standings?

    I’d question the trophy if he were to win it this season. Maybe if they were a little close to the playoffs but to be a bottom 5 team. No no and no.

  • crabman

    I think McDavid is an amazing player but I don’t think he even gets a sniff of the Hart this year. Won’t and shouldn’t be a finalist. The Oilers are so far out of the playoffs he shouldn’t be considered. I’m not saying he should/could do any more for this team but there are other players having great seasons on winning teams that will get a lot more attention.

  • rickey888

    considering , mcdavid is not running away with the scoring race, this point is moot, he has 0 chance to win the hart trophy. with kucherov leading the nhl in points, and being on the 1st overall team in nhl .

    • corky

      Ten points ahead would still not warrant the hart. Team did nothing and that should really tie in. Connor is awesome, but it just doesnt seem legit for him to win.

  • Connor McFly

    Not freaking likely. With this collection of heartless, spineless nutless gaggle of losers he relies on I can’t imagine how he gets there again. How long before he demands a trade to salvage his career before it is too late?

  • OilersGM

    If McDavid had a one shot scorer on his line he would be leading the league by 20 points and be running away with the heart trophy again but since he doesn’t have the shooter there for his points are down because of the boat anchors he has on his line constantly and will not win it unfortunately.

    • Arfguy

      It really does suck that he’s stuck with Lucic. Getting Lucic out of his slump has been attempted over numerous games. Lucic is a big boy and should be digging himself out of this.

      I look at him and it’s astonishing how bad Lucic looks. He can’t skate, he can’t rush with the puck, he can’t make plays in the offensive zone, yet night after night he’s getting top line minutes. I watched the Jets vs. Hurricanes match-up last night and saw a great feed from Ehlers to Laine. Why isn’t Puljujarvi on the wings with McDavid or Draisaitl? Unbelievable!

  • MCDAVID BLOWS

    Connor Mcdavid is definitely not the best in the nhl. It could happen in a few years from now but he’s only had one full season in the nhl. It is way to early to be making statements like that Tyler Yaremchuk..