We close out awards week with the big one…the Hart Memorial Trophy, given to “to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team”-NHL.com. Over the years this definition has come under some scrutiny with people divided between defining the best player or the most valuable in the league. It is a tough award to win, and even tougher to win twice as there have been 10 different players in the last 11 years to win the Hart. Alex Ovechkin is the only repeat winner in that time.
Regardless of definition, the Professional Hockey Writers Association has come up with a deserving list of 3 nominees:
Corey Perry, ANAHEIM – When Ryan Getzlaf went down with an injury and missed all of January, Perry stepped up and took the Ducks on his shoulders for the rest of the season. Perry was the winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy and the only player to reach 50 goals this season. He set a career high with 98 points.
Daniel Sedin, VANCOUVER – Following in brother Henrik’s footsteps from last year, Daniel Sedin is nominated for his first Hart Trophy. On a team full of stars, it was Daniel who was a head above, leading the team and the league in points with 104. However on a team as talented as the Canucks, it might be tough to consider Sedin the most VALUABLE in the league.
Martin St. Louis, TAMPA BAY – Like Sedin, it might be tough to consider St. Louis the most valuable player in the league when he might not even be the most valuable on his team. On a team with Steven Stamkos (who was a finalist for the Ted Lindsay award voted on by the players), it might be tough to give the 2004 winner the award once again. Many would argue that it was St. Louis’ play that allowed Stamkos to have the season he did, and his 99 points proves it.
Corey Perry is our choice for MVP with 2 first place votes and 1 2nd place vote. Perry’s level picked up when the chips were down and the pressure was on. His performance without the Ducks’ #1 centre for a month was enough to show us just how valuable he is on the ice. It seems all Perry does is win, and he has been a part of some of the best teams ever assembled (2004 WJC, 2010 Olympics). Not to suggest he will win the award multiple times (if Sidney Crosby had played more than 41 games the award would have been his), but for the 2010-11 season Corey Perry was the League’s Most Valuable Player.
HAVE YOUR SAY
This wraps up a week of previews for the major awards to be handed out tonight in Las Vegas. Enjoy the awards show and we can only hope they have some entertaining skits like this one from last year featuring Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan:
Enjoy the Awards!
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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