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Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid and Igor Shesterkin nominated for the Hart Trophy

Matthews and McDavid square off for the second year in a row.

New York Rangers v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The three most likely suspects are in the running for the Hart Memorial Trophy this year. Last year, Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid were both up for the award along with Nate MacKinnon. McDavid was the winner, his second time taking the Hart. This year Rangers’ goalie Igor Shesterkin is the third finalist.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.

History

The Hart Memorial Trophy was presented by the NHL in 1960 after the original Hart Trophy was retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The original Hart Trophy was donated to the NHL in 1924 by Dr. David A. Hart, father of Cecil Hart, former manager-coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

I made my case last month for how we should decide who we think should win the award:

I tossed out “most valuable” [as the key point in the definition] but I think “to his team” is where this choice lies. McDavid is unequalled in his offensive creation. Matthews is unequalled in his shooting, and is really damn good at tilting the ice and creating offence. McDavid makes his teammates successful, and well, gestures at Michael Bunting.

Matthews has the buzz and the aura of greatness around him this season because of the Richard. He’s had great offensive support, and his line is good enough to overcome that horrible on-ice save percentage. McDavid is benefitting from his goalie, but his linemates can’t buy a goal. The Leafs have an improved defence, and the Oilers have Tyson Barrie.

Here’s my answer on who gets the Hart: tell me what you believe matters most?

Is it some combination of spectacle and league MVP award? Then give it to Matthews. Is “to his team” the meaningful phrase? Then give it to McDavid. Do you believe in the written or unwritten definitions and rules?

While the playoffs are proving that Shesterkin is necessary to the Rangers continued success, I think he’s got the Vezina locked up and will not be the winner of the Hart. This year, the choice is Matthews vs McDavid.

Your turn to decide: Who wins the Hart?

Poll

Who will win the Hart?

  • 75%
    Matthews
    (292 votes)
  • 16%
    McDavid
    (64 votes)
  • 7%
    Shesterkin
    (29 votes)
385 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who should win the Hart?

  • 72%
    Matthews
    (245 votes)
  • 16%
    McDavid
    (55 votes)
  • 11%
    Shesterkin
    (38 votes)
338 votes total Vote Now