In the NHL awards past, people have often been left with a lot of head scratching choices once the full picture of the voting comes out.
Just last year, we watched our very own Connor McDavid run away with the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable forward. That was a no-brainer for anyone who watched the games and saw what Connor does on a nightly basis to carry this team over the finish line. What was confusing about that vote came from the release of the complete results by the Professional Hockey Writers Association:
That fact that Sidney Crosby got 14 votes seems alright. I could even see some people thinking that Sergei Bobrovsky and his stellar play during Columbus’ streak last year was Hart worthy. Brent Burns and Brad Marchand though? Marchand got as many first place votes as he did second place votes. When people see this, they start to make assumptions about the local Boston media, and perhaps unfairly assign blame to someone who may not have voted at all.
Enter the news coming today:
Smart move... The @ThePHWA has voted (81.3% agreed) to start releasing all awards ballots. The policy will be for this season's awards. I like it. The Hart ballot will be a good debate. No clear cut favourite. #NHL— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) March 16, 2018
The PHWA voted for transparency going forward. From where I blog this seems like a great thing for fans of the awards. Fans will now be able to see who has voted for each player and they will be able to explain their reasoning.
Our very own Jason Gregor is an acting voting member of the PHWA and he offered his thoughts on the vote.
“Every member of the PHWA had the opportunity to vote on keeping the results private or to make them public. The vote came in at 81% so now every member’s results will be public. I like it. Not everyone is going to agree with who I voted for, and that’s okay, but I think it is important a voting member to show who I voted for. Transparency is great, and as long as you have strong points to defend who you voted for I don’t see it being a negative.
“Look at the Hart trophy race this season. It is very close between Evgeni Malkin, Taylor Hall, Nikita Kucherov, Nathan MacKinnon and Alex Ovechkin. Colorado and New Jersey will need to make the playoffs for Hall or MacKinnon to be a finalist, but if all five make it I can see the top-five voting being split. Could you really be upset if someone had MacKinnon first, Malkin second and Hall third on their ballot, while the next person had Malkin first, Hall second and MacKinnon third.
“Everyone will value certain skills or aspects of a player higher than others for voting on the Hart, Norris, Selke, Lady Byng, Calder and Masterton trophy, but having it public means you need to be prepared to defend your vote. I think it is a great decision by the writers.”
I can echo Jason’s thoughts here too. It’s exciting to see the results of the Hart trophy race this year. What trophy races are you most interested in seeing?
Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 3/16/2018 – 10:07 am MST