Tag: Hart Trophy

P.K. Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens shoots during warmup before NHL action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre January 21, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(January 20, 2012 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America)

TSN may have spoiled tonight’s NHL awards


We were all tipped off about Montreal’s P.K. Subban winning this year’s Norris Trophy earlier this week, but there’s no way the other big award winners would get leaked early… Right?

On TSN’s Insider Trading segment Bob McKenzie, in speaking about Subban’s reported win, said other players were given a heads-up about who was going to take home what.

“In fact, Subban is the Norris Trophy winner. And now we’re hearing word that Jonathan Huberdeau will be in Chicago on Saturday. You can infer from that that the Florida Panther forward is going to be the rookie of the year.”

Darren Dreger followed that up saying that neither Sidney Crosby nor John Tavares would be in Chicago for the Hart Trophy award tonight and Alex Ovechkin, who is in Russia, would accept the award via video. While that’s not confirmation Ovechkin is going to win it, it’s about as close as it can get.

Meanwhile, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston says Chicago’s Jonathan Toews kept his Selke Trophy win a tight-knit secret with his family and that award winners have known for a while that they were victorious.

If you’re a fan of suspense, this was not the year for you to have a stake in the NHL awards as the Lindsay Award and Vezina Trophy are the only two left with an element of surprise for the time being.

Should Martin Brodeur retire if the Devils win the Cup?

Martin Brodeur

Let’s just get the question out of the way: Should Martin Brodeur retire if New Jersey wins the Cup?

All season long Brodeur has talked like a guy who seems pretty set on coming back next season, even when he’s saying he’s not 100-percent sure. Retirement is on his mind but it hasn’t seemed to be his motivation this year. After all, he’s looked great in the playoffs and for the entire second half of the season and he’s told Renaud Lavoie from RDS he has no intention to retire after the playoffs.

Still though, if the Devils go on to win the Stanley Cup this season, what’s left for Brodeur to do?

A Cup this year would be his fourth, giving him as many as Patrick Roy had in his career and twice as many as Dominik Hasek. If Brodeur managed to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, that would give him one award, aside from the Hart Trophy, that’s eluded him in his Hall-Of-Fame career. At 40-years-old, finding new records to set and awards to win when you’re already, arguably, the best goaltender in history might prove impossible.

Going out riding high is everyone’s dream, but for Brodeur going out when he’s good and ready to seems to be more likely. No one wants to see a legendary player go out the way say Michael Jordan did in ignominy in Washington as a Wizard rather than as a champion in Chicago.

What do you think? If the Devils win it all, should Marty take a seat? Vote in our poll or leave us a comment.

Watch Evgeni Malkin hit the century mark

Evgeni Malkin

The Pittsburgh Penguins suffered a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday, but Evgeni Malkin did improve his chances of winning the Hart Trophy by reaching the 100-point mark. You can check out the play below.

Malkin has missed seven games this season, but no one is even close to him in terms of points. That being said, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist could both give him a run for his money in the Hart Trophy vote.

Pavel Datsyuk climbs the scoring ranks

Pavel Datsyuk, Corey Crawford

For several years, Pavel Datsyuk was considered something of a hockey connoisseur’s Hart Trophy pick. Despite scoring at a great rate in just about every season, he always seemed resigned to settle for a Selke Trophy because Datsyuk fell a few strides short of being a top scorer.

It seemed that would happen again this season, but all of a sudden the ludicrously slick forward is making a meteoric rise up the scoring ranks, as Ansar Khan discusses here.

With 11 goals and 30 assists in his last 30 games, Datsyuk’s 51 overall points ties him with Steven Stamkos and Joffrey Lupul for third place overall in the NHL.

The Sedin twins and Evgeni Malkin will surely give Datsyuk everything he can handle in the Art Ross Trophy race, but considering his fantastic two-way play and eye-grabbing style, one cannot help but wonder if he’ll finally get serious Hart consideration from the guys who cast the ballots.

Who’s your early NHL MVP, then?

Tim Thomas has a new goal for 2011-12: the Hart Trophy

NHL Awards Portraits

People tend to rush to hyperbole after an athlete accomplishes something of note, but it’s pretty tough to overstate how special Tim Thomas was in 2010-11.

Thomas broke the single-season record for save percentage and won the Vezina Trophy during the regular season and then topped that with an even better save percentage in the playoffs, a Conn Smythe nod and a Stanley Cup victory. He joined Philadelphia Flyers great Bernie Parent as the two netminders to manage the triple crown of a Vezina, Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup win in the same campaign.

With some major milestones crossed off the list, some might wonder if the 37 year old goalie will have the same motivation next season. After all, how can you top an almost incomparable run of performances? In a league with such a small margin of error, the slightest hint of relaxation could mean a drop from world class status to borderline mediocrity.

Then again, there’s still one far flung objective the odds-beating goalie hasn’t achieved yet: winning the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP. That’s something he (somewhat seriously) discussed as Boston Bruins training camp began.

“I’m really not trying to be cocky,” Thomas replied, “but I’ve never won a Hart Trophy (as league MVP). At least it’s a goal I can shoot for, you know? That’s a goal to shoot for, whether I accomplish it or not. A lot of it is up to me, but a lot of it’s up to fate, too.”

The odds are stacked against Thomas

Hart voters aren’t exactly prone to handing the award to netminders. In fact, here’s the list of goalies who have won the Hart Trophy.

Roy Worters (1928-29)
Chuck Rayner (1949-50)
Al Rollins (1953-54)
Jacques Plante (1961-62)
Dominik Hasek (1996-97 and 97-98)
Jose Theodore (2001-02)

While it’s pretty neat that Hasek is the only two-time winner among goalies, it’s pretty stunning that Theodore earned an MVP award while the likes of Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden, Martin Brodeur and so on never won a Hart Trophy. That underscores the “fate” part of Thomas’ quote; it’s not just about how well Thomas plays, but also how sportswriters view his performances relative to top scorers and elite defensemen.

Sharing starts won’t help his cause

Then again, the biggest impediment to his goal of winning the MVP is his talented backup Tuukka Rask. While Rask’s 29 games played was far less than people expected last season, that’s still a significant enough chunk of games to hurt Thomas’ cause as far as being perceived as more valuable than a skater who can suit up for 82 games.

The word is that Rask will take an even bigger “bite” from Thomas next season, so that will only make it tougher for the unorthodox goalie to prove that he’s the league’s most valuable player. When you add Rask’s presence to the fact that Thomas struggled (relatively speaking) in his other post-Vezina season in 09-10, a Hart push seems far-fetched.

That being said, Thomas carved out an outstanding career while proving people wrong again and again. It might be reasonable to doubt Thomas when it comes to throwing out the idea of going for the Hart Trophy, but it’s best not to tell the ultra-competitive netminder what he can and cannot do. The guy has a knack for defying odds.