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12-16-2012, 11:22 PM
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Great thread, although one small point:

There's really zero chance that Messier gets the Hart in 1996 if Lemieux didn't play that year, IMO.

Jagr or Sakic likely would've won the scoring title and would have been the front-runners. Or maybe Lindros. I dunno, it was a little weird that Messier was #2 in Hart voting that year as it was.

Oftentimes the runner-up to the Hart is a weird pick, but that doesn't mean they would've definitely won if the first-place guy had never existed. Would Rod Langway really have snagged the Hart in 1982 if Gretzky hadn't existed? No, it probably would have gone to Mike Bossy posting the second-highest point total of all time. Same goes for Mike Liut in 1981. Etc.

Not taking away anything from Messier--I think I'd probably vote for him in this poll--but that 1996 season seems a tad overrated.

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