The value of a Hart Trophy...
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11-13-2012, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Czech Your Math
I agree with you, but there's also no need to completely rewrite history. I mean, the Rangers had no semblance of offense without Jagr. Straka was not only on Jagr's line, he was basically hanging around at the end only because of that fact, before returning to Czech to play out his career. Nylander barely played about one NHL season on a 5 year(?) contract with the Caps, which he got based on his increased production playing on Jagr's line. Prucha had his career season as a rookie. I'm doubt it would have cost any team to obtain Straka, Nylander, Malik and Rozsival in 2005. A couple over 30 forwards who had injury problems, and weren't all-stars at their peaks, entering a new, faster NHL? A couple of decent d-men?
It was unusual season in a lot of respects, especially as it pertains to the Ross/Hart race between Jagr and Thornton. It's not that Thornton didn't have a great year too, but people actually suggest San Jose was a worse team than the Rangers. Those Rangers couldn't make the playoffs for several years with players like Gretzky, Messier, Leetch, Richter, Lindros, Bure, Fleury, etc. They were almost a complete rebuild in '06. How often do complete rebuilds make the playoffs in a 30 team league?
I don't put too much value in a single season of awards. The competition changes from year to year and esp. era to era. There is bias and uninformed voting, judging by some of the results. It's maintaining an established high level over multiple seasons that's most impressive. I'd take a player who finished top 3-5 a few times and was top 10 a few more times (whether awards/AS or scoring) over a player who won an award and had maybe another top 5 or 10 finish in his career. All that really tells me is that for one season he may have been the best, due to a few good bounces, a fortunate and relative lack of competition, or potentially biased voting.
I'll say this, neither team - San Jose or NYR - does anything without their best player. Neither team is in the postseason. I don't think people look at that enough. For whatever reason it is either one side or another but it's not true. Cheechoo/SJ are nothing without Thornton and NYR are more or less a lottery team without Jagr. You can't bring up one without the other in my opinion.
I think at that time it made sense as well just like looking at it in hindsight. I mean, Thornton was very close to a 100 assist season. In any era, that's just insane. You are sure as heck valuable to your team when you set up 100 of their goals. I remember thinking that at the time.
Not like it matters, but in 2007 Thornton had 92 assists showing that it wasn't just a one trick pony thing in case anyone would ever want to use that excuse - in hindsight.
Originally Posted by
My biggest complaint was always that Thotnton played more than a 1/4 of the season with the Bruins and he certainly wasn't playing like an MVP. His lack of "focus" was what got him traded. If there was no one close to him I could see him getting the Hart. But there was one guy (Jagr) that was just as good.
Well someone did mention he had 33 points in 23 games. Pro-rated over the full season and he has 118 points. This isn't to say he gets that on Boston, but who else was doing anything on those Bruins? Also, I'll say that the season was early, it was 1/4 of the way in. The new rules were still hard to adapt to and 23 games is hardly a volume of games to base your franchise player on. That being said, Mike O'Connell, the only GM in the history of the NHL to trade a Hart winner midseason, got fired at the end of the year for Boston and will never work as a GM again. That has to tell you something, no?
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