Your finalists for the NHL MVP award, according to the collective decision of the Professional Mittenstringer Writers Association, are as follows:
Hart Trophy Nominees, as voted by the @PHWA: Hall (NJ), Kopitar (LA) & MacKinnon (COL). Difference between media and players (Lindsay) is Kopitar/McDavid— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 27, 2018
Okay, I have a bone to pick with the way a lot of NHL awards have been trending. Some, like the award for coach of the year, have been like this for a long time already, but it really seems like more and more awards are starting to weigh how surprisingly good a team was.
It is absolutely shocking to me that NONE of McDavid, Giroux, Kucherov, OR Malkin could get a final nomination. I don’t want to take anything away from the three nominees because they all undeniably had great seasons, but this is getting ridiculous.
The MVP award has apparently turned into “Best Player on the Most Surprisingly Good Team” award instead, with a side of “We Mittenstringers must also like the players in question”.
Connor McDavid had the highest points per game AND total points in the league despite having FAR fewer power play points than any other top 10 scorer in the league.
Claude Giroux helped turn Sean Couturier into a 30+ goal scorer who almost doubled his career best in points.
Malkin and Kucherov have the grave sin of being Russian and on great NHL teams that people expected to be great, so they don’t get the sexiness of a good “surprisingly good NHL team!” narrative.
But I guess that’s the world we live in now, but if this is the game we’re going to play, I’m calling out the PHWA for half assing their shit. Here are the major NHL award renamed with new nominations that they WOULD have chosen if they weren’t utter cowards.
The Vezina Award for Surprisingly Good Goalie on a Surprisingly Good Team
Finalists: Connor Hellebuyck, Marc-Andre Fleury, Keith Kinkaid
Outside looking in: Varlamov (too Russian), Brian Elliott (too bad), Jonathan Quick (actually I’m surprised he wasn’t chosen anyways).
The Selke Award for Patrice Bergeron, Anze Kopitar, and Jonathan Toews
This one at least has yet to succumb to the “surprisingly good team” bullshit.
Finalists: Patrice Bergeron, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Toews (I’m pretty sure they’d rename the award after Toews if they thought they could get away with it, even though he isn’t good enough to carry Bergeron’s jockstrap)
Outside looking in: Couturier (will replace Kopitar when he retires), O’Reilly (dat FOW% doe).
The Norris Award for Surprisingly Good Defenseman on a Surprisingly Good Team
Finalists: Erik Johnson, Will Butcher, Colin Miller
Outside looking in: McAvoy, Provorov (too Russian)
The Lady Byng Award for Surprisingly Good Player on a Surprisingly Good Team Who Also Didn’t Take Many Penalties
Finalists: William Karlsson, Taylor Hall, Aleksander Barkov (actually they already pretty much did this, except for the Ryan O’Reilly nomination)
Outside looking in: Giroux (disqualified for being Giroux according to them apparently), Dadanov (too Russian)
The Calder Award for Surprisingly Good Rookie on a Surprisingly Good Team
Finalists: Charlie McAvoy, Will Butcher, Alexander Kerfoot
Outside looking in: Hischier (not that surprising), Patrick (ditto), Tuch (not good enough)
The Jack Adams Award for Being The Award That Already Most Weighs How Surprisingly Good a Team Is as a Voting Standard
Finalists: exactly who they already nominated since this award was already like this
Outside looking in: the New Jersey coach, probably.
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What snubbed NHLer most deserves to be MVP finalist?
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