Earlier today, the NHL announced its three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s most valuable player: Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, Tampa Bay’s Steve Stamkos and New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist.
Notably absent from that list? Flyers forward Claude Giroux.
Interesting omission given what Giroux did this year. He led Philadelphia in scoring, finished third in the league in points (93), second in assists (65) and won 53.7 percent of his faceoffs. He also led a team that traded away its captain (Mike Richards) and perennial 30-goal man (Jeff Carter) to 47 wins and 103 points.
That said, Giroux didn’t seem bothered by not getting in on the Hart.
“Which one is that?” Giroux asked.
“I’m kidding!” he laughed. “Ah, no, I didn’t see the news but at the end of the day, that’s not the trophy I want. Obviously, it’s not something I control and a detail I don’t care a lot about.”
Hopes were high that Giroux would be third Flyer to win league MVP — Bobby Clarke (x3) and Eric Lindros were the others — and snap Philly’s streak of 17 years without a Hart Trophy winner.