The National Hockey League’s leading goal scorer, and arguably the leagues purest scorer is still not likely to win his first Hart Memorial Trophy. Steven Stamkos has been amazing this season. He leads the league with 58 goals (as of April 3). The Hart Memorial Trophy is a National Hockey League award that is presented to the player that is judged to be the most valuable to his team. The winners are selected at the end of the regular season by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association in the thirty NHL cities. The Professional Hockey Writers Association narrows it down to three finalists, and the final selection and award is presented at the annual NHL Awards Show in June. Last years award winner was Anaheim Duck Corey Perry. This was the first time Perry had won this prestigious award. The list of winners is amazing. For a complete list of award recipients and more award information, check out nhl.com.
Although Stamkos is the league leader in goals with 58 and has a total of 95 points. He is by far the most valuable player for the Lightning, and is not likely to win the award. The unwritten rule that an award recipient must lead their team to a playoff birth, will likely hold Stamkos back from winning. Is this correct, or should a player who does not lead his team to the playoffs have a chance to win this? Is a player’s success only measured by his team’s success? I do not like this and this year I would give Stamkos serious consideration. The next player in line to win this is Pittsburgh Penquin’s Evgeni Malkin. Malkin now has 104 points with 48 goals this season. These impressive totals, and how he has lead his injury plagued Pens puts him in the drivers seat. I am not saying that Malkin should not win this, and I am not even saying that I would not vote for him. I am reflecting on the season of Stamkos, and feel that a lot of his success has been overshadowed by his team’s difficulties. If this was last season, and the Lightning were in the playoffs, I think we would be inking in Stamkos as the front runner for this award. Stamkos is a dynamic scorer that is likely to have many more amazing seasons like this one. He does deserve recognition for his season, and he should be a finalist for this award. Win or lose we learned that Stamkos is a great scorer, and team leader. Malkin and Stamkos both stepped up, and solidified themselves as dominating forces in the National Hockey League.