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.
— NHL (@NHL) April 27, 2018
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