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Connor McDavid left off Hart Trophy finalist list

The NHL describes it’s Hart Trophy as the following:

An annual award given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in all NHL cities at the end of the regular season.

Apparently, Connor McDavid isn’t one of the three players most valuable to his team.

The logic behind it is confusing.

There is no doubt that Taylor Hall, Anze Kopitar and Nathan MacKinnon had strong enough seasons to put themselves in the Hart consideration, but the NHL can’t sit there and tell me that Connor McDavid isn’t one of three most valuable players in the NHL.

As a matter of fact, many consider McDavid to be the best player in the entire league.

For the sake of it, McDavid put up 11 more points that MacKinnon, 15 more points than Hall and 16 more than Kopitar.

Based on that simple statistic alone, McDavid should be a player on the Hart ballot.

Then why isn’t he?

There seems to be a weird theory going around that involves a player having to carry his team to the playoffs. That theory would be supported when you look at this Hart ballot.

It’s ludicrous. Especially considering this is an award given to an individual, not to a team. Sure, Kopitar played a big part in the Kings success this season. He outscored his closest teammate by 31 points, but McDavid did the same by 38 points.

On top of that, McDavid had the best season at even-strengh by a county mile.

84 of McDavid’s 108 points this season came at even-strength. Claude Giroux was second in even-strength scoring this year, potting 66 of his 102 points there.

MacKinnon had 64 even-strength points while Kopitar had 63 – good enough for fourth and fifth respectively. Taylor Hall was a ways back potting 55 even-strength points – good enough for 19th in the league.

Hall and MacKinnon were both on the ballot for the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes to the Most Valuable Player as voted by players. Kopitar however, was not.

He was good enough in the eyes of the media, but not the players which tells you a lot.

I’m bitter about it because McDavid is, as you all know, an incredibly valuable player to this team.

Where are the Oilers if they don’t have McDavid this season? I would have to say close to the bottom of the league as he contributed on 46 per cent of the teams points.

Chalk it up however you want to, but it is criminal that Connor McDavid didn’t even get considered as one of the top three players this season.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

  • Serious Gord

    You’re “bitter” about it? Really?

    You seem to want a by the book definition of mvp.

    Well if we were really to go by the book all three nominees would be goalies.

    Clearly – and reasonably- the award takes into account the results and success of the team the player is playing for.

    McDavid was great but it didn’t result in team success. The three finalists were both great – all having career years – and their teams were much improved.

    Using the long-standing traditions surrounding this award – not by the book metrics – They deserve to be the finalists – not Connor

      • Serious Gord

        I think Crosby remains the best forward in the league. He’s a far better two way player and he never seems to take a night off – Conner does.

        That noted, in time I expect Connor will mature in his game and consistency.

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    This no big deal.Connor will win at least 4-5 more before he’s done. Mackinnon might be the best choice anyway (don’t throw things). The Avs had a huge turnaround this year and Mackinnon was the engine that drove the change. Connor next year.

  • Dr. Merkwurdigliebe

    Would the Devils have made the playoffs without Hall. The Avs without Mackinnon? The Kings without Kopitar? If the answer to those questions is no…

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Since having a team make the playoffs is a requirement, they should have it say so in the description. Otherwise, have the finalists fit the description. I don’t care if their team makes the playoffs or not. McDavid outscored ALL of these guys, finishing with 108 points. That should automatically make him the winner.

    • BringtheFire 2.0

      “McDavid outscored ALL of these guys, finishing with 108 points.” So, if someone gets 109 points they get the Hart? The word is “valuable” . How did Connor’s ” value” translate to the rest of the team? The answer: it didn’t. They were bottom of the standings. MacKinnon? From basement to playoffs. His value translates.

      You guys want to give Connor the award ’cause he’s the best(which he is), but that’s not what this is about. There are other awards for points and positional play.

  • Flint

    If you think that the contribution to the success of a team of the player being considered for MVP is not an important factor in the award selection I think you might misunderstand what the end goal of the game is – which is to win games and the Stanley Cup.

    If you continue to believe otherwise then clearly Antti Raanta would be the MVP, not McDavid, but while that would be charming, I don’t think players on teams who finish bottom 10 in the league did enough to warrant Most Valuable Player in the entire league. On their respective teams… sure… but league MVP’s aren’t on losing teams.

  • Braindead

    I don’t understand what is so confusing about this. Even though McDavid was the best player in the NHL the Oilers were such a bad team that his production didn’t matter.
    Maybe the NHL should come out with a new reward. It will be awarded to the player that helps his team the most not finishing last place and not having the best possible chance of winning the Draft Lottery. They can call it the “Oilers Trophy”.

  • Oiler Al

    Another bit of evidence how bush-league Bettman’s NHL is!That includes the Media . The most valuable player must be 35 points behind the leading and scorer and has to be swept in the first round of the playoffs.
    There isn’t a sane person in this world that wouldn’t take McDavid first in a draft .
    Its amazing even Spector thinks that McDavid should not be in because of the play-offs.Oilers own media for goodness sake.!
    This is so obvious that even a blind lizard could haved figured this out.
    Shame Shame on the media folks.

  • camdog

    At first I thought Connor was getting ripped off, but now I think about it all of the teams still in the playoffs have guys just as valuable to their team as the 3 that made it as finalist. There were Hart Trophy performances on the top 4 teams in the league that were ignored because they had better support. I do find it odd that the same argument being used to justify voting for MacKinnon that he played less games was used against Hopkins in his Calder trophy voting.

    • West

      Somehow Colorado always seems to get the media to buy their spin. I posted a comment a while ago about how the talking heads seem to change their criteria about missed games with no good reason. Almost like they are just making stuff up to suit whatever the prevailing theory is. Same reason was used to vote McDavid third best first year player (Panarin was not by the NHLs own definition, a rookie. )

  • Jay (not J)

    It’s not like the points got the Oilers anywhere so how valuable were they? A few less points and they’d be looking at a real shot at drafting the defenseman the team’s been trying to add for 12 years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge McDavid fan, but he’s going to earn enough of these in his career, he doesn’t need any gifted to him.

  • he shoots he scars

    One stat that McDavid fails at for his team is face offs. Drai 56.1, RNH 48.8, Strome 44.3, Khaira 45.4, Letestu 53.3 all had much better face off percentages than McDavid 41.4. Lucic, Maroon, Cammeleri and Malone also had better percentages. It’s true that McDavid likely faced the other teams better face off men. A league MVP that is a centreman should be better than 10th on his team. Kopitar, McKinnon and Hall all had better f/o win percentages. Can MacTavish get on the practice ice and mentor these guys.

  • KPUZ

    I think Oiler fans and Connor can blame the loss of the Hart trophy on one single individual who refuses to take any blame for the disastrous trades and AHL caliber team he has assembled—PC!!!

  • oilerjed

    The problem is that every single member of the PHWA that has a vote is basing it on their own personal criteria and sadly what they can write the best article on. Its a n easy fix, if the team needs to make it into the playoffs to be considered then add it to the description. Keep the Ted Lindsay as the award that is handed out to the best player as voted on by the players.
    But while I think the Hart goes to Taylor, hands down (regardless of whether Connor was in the mix), holding it against a player that he was not surrounded with enough talent to win is kind of like blaming Ovi for never winning the cup. It is largely out of the players hands once the season starts and they are left to play with whoever is put on the ice with them.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    Here, let me break it down: with or without Connor, the Oilers were a bottom five team last year. Having Connor made no difference. On the other hand, no MacKinnon no playoffs.

    Of the two, who’s more valuable to their team?

    You’re welcome.

  • West

    I am not sure why the hockey writers think that 3 guys who got their teams to squeak into the playoffs as wildcards are Hart worthy. All 3 teams were basically swept in tbe first round. Yes Colorado won 2 games but that is because Nashville forgot to play those games. There must have been some better choices for Hart if playoffs is going to be a criteria. If you have to hive to one of these 3, it should be Hall. I think he had 41 more points than his closest teammate. Thats better than McDavid and should be the definition of dragging your team into the playoffs.

  • Spydyr

    The people that know and understand hockey the best (the players) will vote Connor the best player in the NHL with the Ted Lindsay award. The people who think they know and understand hockey the best (the writers) won’t vote Connor the best player with the Hart.

  • OTOF2

    Oiler fans….received more charity via welfare picks than any team ever but still a bunch of cry babies. How sad. Maybe try believing in the concept of earning something on your own instead of crying about what is not gifted to you.

  • CMG30

    Sorry McDavid, welcome to the anti-oiler bias.

    We all know this is dumb. The simple test of who the mvp is is to honestly answer this question: assume each player is guaranteed to repeat their last season exactly and you can have any single one of them for the next year. Which player will you take for your team?

    • OTOF2

      I take a player who can lead his team to the playoffs all day long. McDavid scores points but obviously they are garbage points because they didn’t translate to enough team wins.