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The 1989 Hart Trophy

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Old
07-16-2014, 04:30 AM
  #26
Regal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Which would have made Lemieux a better option for Hart voting than he was. It's value to the respective team - not universal value. The latter is just a fancy way of saying better.

The voters have drawn the distinction by electing 10 Hart winners throughout history that did not make the 1st All-Star Team: 1934, 1948, 1950, 1954, 1955, 1964, 1973, 1980, 1989, 2002 - and that's just the ones who were bettered at their own position. And if you look at Tavares' voting record in 2013 (38/179 1st Place Hart votes; 13/179 1st Team All-Star votes), you know that there is still a difference in the minds of the voters.

So yes, if Mario Lemieux was new to the Penguins, or if there was an unusual circumstance surrounding the season (like injuries to teammates), he would have an advantage. A less pronounced version than the Jack Adams effect has always existed in Hart voting.
I don't know how this seems logical to anyone. I'm not denying value to the team happens in Hart voting, and I think it's justified in certain ways, but it's always been based on the fact of how good the team is around the player within the season, not on whether or not he's new to the team that year. Gretzky would have an argument based on value to his team if the team around him was considerably worse and yet they had similar success, or Lemieux had a teammate who was close to as good as he was so he didn't stand out as much. These are the types of scenarios we've seen in the past that have led the Hart trophy to be given the guy deemed "most valuable to his team" rather than "best player". But that wasn't the case here. Both Gretzky and Lemieux stood out above their teammates to a similar extent, had similar level supporting casts, and their teams finished 4 points apart in the standings. And Lemieux was the better player. There was no basis for saying Gretzky was more valuable to his team other than the fact that the trade made his value more obvious, which is completely faulty logic.

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07-16-2014, 06:46 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regal View Post
And Lemieux was the better player.
That's debatable, but in any case the award does not go to the better player, by definition. For example, a few years ago Henrik Sedin won the award against Crosby and Ovechkin, but no one was saying he was the best player of those three.
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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
There was no basis for saying Gretzky was more valuable to his team other than the fact that the trade made his value more obvious, which is completely faulty logic.
Hmm, I know what you mean, but... the Kings went from 68 points to 91 points with the same supporting cast and same coach as a year earlier (Carson was gone, and Robitaille scored less than the year before), basically entirely due to the addition of Gretzky. The Penguins improved only a few points over the preceding year. Now, I realize that without Mario at all, the Pens may have dropped more than the 23 points by which Gretzky improved the Kings. But I don't think so. The Pens improved 15 points Mario's first season and then 23 points his second season. Then they decreased 4 points his third year (he was injured, partly), and then increased 9 (he won the Hart Tropy '88), and then in 1989 they improved by 6 points.

So again, I can't see any big reason why Gretzky shouldn't have won the Hart in '89. (Actually, the more I analyze it, the more I start to think he deserved it!) A team improving by 23 points suddenly is pretty amazing. Lemieux finally helped Pittsburgh into the playoffs in '89, but they weren't a particularly improved team from the year before.

They both deserved to win, so maybe the Hart / Pearson / Art Ross three-way split (with Yzerman) was fair enough.

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07-16-2014, 08:40 AM
  #28
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As it is summer and all (as you can see from all the weird threads, not this one though), could someone put up a thread where the almighty hfboards would re-vote every Hart Trophy since Gretzky´s peak? It could be interesting.

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07-16-2014, 08:43 AM
  #29
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Isn't it ironic that we're arguing over the issuing of the Hart trophy when it was far closer to its real definition than how it's slung around today?

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07-16-2014, 10:16 AM
  #30
The Panther
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Gretzky (Kings) vs. Lemieux (Penguins) in 1988-89:

Nov. 12th, 1988
Pittsburgh 2 @ Los Angeles 7
Mario: 1G, 1A (-3)
Wayne: 0G, 1A (0)

Dec. 14th, 1988
Los Angeles 4 @ Pittsburgh 5
Mario: 2G, 2A (+3)
Wayne: didn't play

March 7th, 1989
Pittsburgh 2 @ Los Angeles 3
Mario: 1G, 1A (+2)
Wayne: 0G, 2A (0)

Mario easily outscored Gretz in these match-ups, 8 points to 3, but Gretzky missed one of the three. The Kings, however, won 2 of the 3.


Wouldn't it be interesting to see a complete summary like this of every head-to-head game between these two stars? Anyone up for it?


Edited to add: Gretzky gets his, though -- the first game these guys met in 1989-90, at the old Igloo in Pittsburgh, Gretzky scored 3G, 3A (+4), while Mario had 0G, 2A (-3).

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07-16-2014, 11:10 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
Gretzky (Kings) vs. Lemieux (Penguins) in 1988-89:

Nov. 12th, 1988
Pittsburgh 2 @ Los Angeles 7
Mario: 1G, 1A (-3)
Wayne: 0G, 1A (0)

Dec. 14th, 1988
Los Angeles 4 @ Pittsburgh 5
Mario: 2G, 2A (+3)
Wayne: didn't play

March 7th, 1989
Pittsburgh 2 @ Los Angeles 3
Mario: 1G, 1A (+2)
Wayne: 0G, 2A (0)

Mario easily outscored Gretz in these match-ups, 8 points to 3, but Gretzky missed one of the three. The Kings, however, won 2 of the 3.


Wouldn't it be interesting to see a complete summary like this of every head-to-head game between these two stars? Anyone up for it?


Edited to add: Gretzky gets his, though -- the first game these guys met in 1989-90, at the old Igloo in Pittsburgh, Gretzky scored 3G, 3A (+4), while Mario had 0G, 2A (-3).
It's been done

The unaccounted for games are in too.

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07-16-2014, 11:12 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Panther View Post

Wouldn't it be interesting to see a complete summary like this of every head-to-head game between these two stars? Anyone up for it?

It has been done by HF user blogofmike, unfortunately his blog is down but this post referencing it exists:

Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
The post linked here is a good one for the Gretzky-Lemieux debate. But as far as I'm concerned, this post about Gretzky and Lemieux's head to head record settles it.

Leave out Gretzky's Edmonton years to make it fair. In 14 games against each other from 1988-89 on, Lemieux produced 8-17-25 and Gretzky produced 8-26-34. Lemieux was -11 and Gretzky was +15. Gretzky's teams won 10 of the 14 games.

Although it's only 14 games, the reason I think it's the ultimate trump card is that the whole argument for Lemieux is based on one game or one series. He might miss a few games in a season or in his career, but in one game he was the best.

But it appears Lemieux wouldn't be the best player to take for one game...because the other team could take Gretzky, and they would win.


Last edited by Cruor: 07-16-2014 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Ninjaed by the man himself!
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Old
07-16-2014, 02:34 PM
  #33
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I'll say this though in defense of Mario, he did hit the "most valuable" requirement for the MVP as well. Yes, Gretzky jumped into L.A. and made them a household name, but in my opinion from the standpoint of being "valuable" to their team, it is hard to imagine Mario who had points on 57% of the Pens goals (I believe that is still an NHL record) not winning just based on that alone, let alone him outscoring the league. He had Brown (115) and Coffey (113) on his team and they were the closest to him in points. I am not saying he was alone, a prime Coffey on your team is a good example of this, but Nicholls had 150 points on the Kings while Gretzky had 168. There was a lot less of a gap statistically between them. Now, I realize a lot of the points Nicholls got can be attributed to Gretzky not because they were linemates but because it opened up a heck of a lot of room Nicholls wouldn't have normally had. But 150 points is still quite a contribution. So to me this is clearly a case of Gretzky taking a draft lotteryesque team to being a contender overnight. Because Mario fits every criteria possible.

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07-16-2014, 03:33 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Pegi90 View Post
the only fact there being that gretzky won it because of the legacy, yes you're right.
More like the only reason Lemiuex had more points is because he was playing with Paul Coffey

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07-16-2014, 05:44 PM
  #35
Dennis Bonvie
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On a team that had a -81 overall, Mario was a team high +41.

The Kings were a +171, Gretzky a +15 (Behind 7 teammates).

Lemieux also scored 13 short-handed goals, the single season record.

Mario got screwed.

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07-16-2014, 05:47 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'll say this though in defense of Mario, he did hit the "most valuable" requirement for the MVP as well. Yes, Gretzky jumped into L.A. and made them a household name, but in my opinion from the standpoint of being "valuable" to their team, it is hard to imagine Mario who had points on 57% of the Pens goals (I believe that is still an NHL record) not winning just based on that alone, let alone him outscoring the league. He had Brown (115) and Coffey (113) on his team and they were the closest to him in points. I am not saying he was alone, a prime Coffey on your team is a good example of this, but Nicholls had 150 points on the Kings while Gretzky had 168. There was a lot less of a gap statistically between them. Now, I realize a lot of the points Nicholls got can be attributed to Gretzky not because they were linemates but because it opened up a heck of a lot of room Nicholls wouldn't have normally had. But 150 points is still quite a contribution. So to me this is clearly a case of Gretzky taking a draft lotteryesque team to being a contender overnight. Because Mario fits every criteria possible.
And what other player scored 150 points in a season because he was playing with Gretzky?

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07-16-2014, 06:04 PM
  #37
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Lemieux should have won the Hart for sure. Mario was the first team all-star at center, so the media thought he was the best center. But the weirder decision was the Pearson going to Yzerman. Yzerman finished 44 points behind Lemieux.

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07-16-2014, 06:08 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by PhillyBluesFan View Post
More like the only reason Lemiuex had more points is because he was playing with Paul Coffey
This is the 2nd time you've posted something like this in this thread. Is there some kind of statistical proof that you have that you aren't sharing with us?

Mario was scoring at high levels before Paul Coffey, and he continued to score at high levels without Paul Coffey.

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07-16-2014, 06:15 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
If you think the awards are a joke, you're perfectly welcome to take them less seriously. The same 63 people who gave Gretzky the Hart by a 40 to 18 vote said that Lemieux was a better player by a 48 to 10 vote (Yzerman received 5 votes in each category). There's not some great mystery; the impact Wayne Gretzky had in Los Angeles is immeasurable. No point margin was going to make anyone more valuable to their team than Wayne Gretzky was to his that year, so you're not going to find your answer in the statistics on the back of a hockey card.

You said that you're too young to remember, so hopefully this clip will suffice.

I don't think the awards are a joke, just the idea that a player not being media savvy is going to cost him awards, and votes is a joke to me.

Thank you for the video you posted, it did help put into perspective the immediate effect Gretzky had in LA. This is the 1st thread I've ever started, and I really appreciate yours, and everybody's feedback, there have been some very insightful posts on here.

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07-16-2014, 08:50 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by K Fleur View Post
This is the 2nd time you've posted something like this in this thread. Is there some kind of statistical proof that you have that you aren't sharing with us?

Mario was scoring at high levels before Paul Coffey, and he continued to score at high levels without Paul Coffey.
and Paul Coffey is easily worth the disparity in points between Gretzky and Lemieux

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07-16-2014, 09:12 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Beau Knows View Post
Lemieux should have won the Hart for sure. Mario was the first team all-star at center, so the media thought he was the best center. But the weirder decision was the Pearson going to Yzerman. Yzerman finished 44 points behind Lemieux.
Not as weird as you think.
Unlike the other two, Stevie had next to no help and truly carried that team on his back. He played in all zones, was one of the top faceoff men in the League and killed penalties in the old school way by playing defensively and blocking shots not mostly just by threat of offense.

Quite simply, Stevie was almost as hard to contain (especially at even strength) as the other two and was much harder to actually play against that season. The rest of the players in the League knew it, hence the Pearson vote going his way.

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07-16-2014, 09:20 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Not as weird as you think.
Unlike the other two, Stevie had next to no help and truly carried that team on his back. He played in all zones, was one of the top faceoff men in the League and killed penalties in the old school way by playing defensively and blocking shots not mostly just by threat of offense.

Quite simply, Stevie was almost as hard to contain (especially at even strength) as the other two and was much harder to actually play against that season. The rest of the players in the League knew it, hence the Pearson vote going his way.
Or the players were sick of Gretzky and Lemieux getting all the attention, so they all went to vote for the new hot thing. Kind of like when Lemieux won the Pearson over Gretzky in 1986.

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07-16-2014, 09:28 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Beau Knows View Post
Lemieux should have won the Hart for sure. Mario was the first team all-star at center, so the media thought he was the best center. But the weirder decision was the Pearson going to Yzerman. Yzerman finished 44 points behind Lemieux.
I don't remember anyone being particularly surprised at the time.

There was always debate about the Hart that year which basically came down to what it always does: best player or biggest impact for his team? Mario was probably the former and Gretzky probably the latter.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Not as weird as you think.
Unlike the other two, Stevie had next to no help and truly carried that team on his back. He played in all zones, was one of the top faceoff men in the League and killed penalties in the old school way by playing defensively and blocking shots not mostly just by threat of offense.

Quite simply, Stevie was almost as hard to contain (especially at even strength) as the other two and was much harder to actually play against that season. The rest of the players in the League knew it, hence the Pearson vote going his way.
It really was a remarkable season by Yzerman and by all of Lemieux / Gretzky / Yzerman for that matter.

Each in their own way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Or the players were sick of Gretzky and Lemieux getting all the attention, so they all went to vote for the new hot thing. Kind of like when Lemieux won the Pearson over Gretzky in 1986.

I don't think that is the case considering Yzerman was 4th in Hart voting the previous season and scored 50 goals and 100 points in 64 games that year..

The thing about the Pearson is that "most outstanding" just like "most valuable to his team" can have different meanings for people at different times.

I think the case can be easily made that Yzerman was the most outstanding player in comparison with the expectations of a guy on the Red Wings of that time having a Gretzky or Lemieux like season.

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07-16-2014, 09:29 PM
  #44
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=

I think the case can be easily made that Yzerman was the most outstanding player in comparison with the expectations of a guy on the Red Wings of that time having a Gretzky or Lemieux like season.
Most outstanding compared to expectations, sure.

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07-16-2014, 10:51 PM
  #45
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And what other player scored 150 points in a season because he was playing with Gretzky?
Kurri getting 135 came close. Why, what is the point?

What I was just trying to point out was that Nicholls was still a good player there. 150 points is still awe inspiring. He was 18 points behind Gretzky and I realize that gap didn't reflect the actual much larger gap between their skills, but when you look at Mario being 85 points better than his next best teammate, all I can say is that if that doesn't scream MVP..............

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07-16-2014, 11:16 PM
  #46
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Kurri getting 135 came close. Why, what is the point?

What I was just trying to point out was that Nicholls was still a good player there. 150 points is still awe inspiring. He was 18 points behind Gretzky and I realize that gap didn't reflect the actual much larger gap between their skills, but when you look at Mario being 85 points better than his next best teammate, all I can say is that if that doesn't scream MVP..............
well we all know mario got screwed.

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07-16-2014, 11:39 PM
  #47
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It's pretty simple - the media vote on what the media think was the best story, as reported by them. The Kings go from 4th worst to 4th best in the league, and the obvious reason was Gretzky in their minds. That was something they could talk about, write about, and use to sell interest in the sport. Especially in America, where the only reason anyone was watching hockey was because Gretzky was traded to the Kings, this was a big deal. Gretzky drew a lot of stars from Hollywood to the games. It legitimized hockey for many in the US. Kings jerseys were the worst selling jerseys in the NHL the past few seasons before the trade - after the trade (combined with the sharp new black and silver look) Kings jerseys were the best selling jerseys all of professional sports.

Lemieux's 199 points was the better season. But it wasn't a better story. He didn't break any records. He didn't hit the oh-so-magical 200 point barrier. I think in many minds there was a "nothing that hasn't been done before" type attitude. Gretzky turning the Kings into an overnight sensation was the talk of all the media, and the talk of the league.

And really, you can't claim any pro-Gretzky bias. He outscored Hull by 32 points a couple years later, but Hull won the Hart because 86 goals was a more interesting story than Gretzky winning yet another Art Ross trophy.

Did Lemieux deserve it? Probably. But I, like others have mentioned in the thread, am more upset by the players choosing Yserman over Lemieux for the Pearson. There's really no justification for that, other than just because they were tired of it being the same two guys over and over again. At least the Hart makes sense in the context of media voting for their own story that they'd been selling to us all season long.

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07-17-2014, 12:55 AM
  #48
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As someone said above, Gretzky was a very deserving winner of the Hart in '89 based on one player's value to his team, and Mario was also a very deserving (non-)winner based on his being the best player that year and totally dominating his own team.

When we're talking about these 160+ point seasons that only Wayne & Mario have achieved in history, I'm not sure the difference between, say, 168 and 185 points is really significant. Or the difference between 185 and 215. At some point, it's just so far beyond anybody else that it defies comparison. Once you get up to that level of scoring, I think you have to look less at who had more points and more at things like (a) how dominant that player is on his team (Mario would win in '89 based on that criterion) and (b) how much weaker the team would be that season without that one player (maybe Gretzky was a bit more deserving that season).

Maybe another way to look at the 1989 question is: During Gretzky's 1980 through 1987 domination of the Hart Trophy, were there any seasons where, in the literal definition of the award ("most valuable to his team"), someone else should have won?

I personally have issues with giving the Hart to someone whose team misses the playoffs, and apparently voters do also as (as Big Phil pointed out) it's only happened twice in the past 60+ years (the recent one being Mario in '88). One would have to have one of the greatest seasons of all time -- as Mario did in 1988 -- to merit winning the Hart on a non-playoff team (in my opinion).

Anyway, back to my question of Gretzky compared to other potential winner from 1980 to 1987:

1980: Gretzky wins as a rookie. Considering that he powered the Oilers into the playoffs (barely), I think he definitely deserved this. The highest points-per-game as a rookie on a sub-.500 team? Ridiculous.

1981: Gretzky beats Mike Liut... barely! The vote is 43% to 42% for Gretzky. Frankly, that's absurd. I cannot really see how anybody else could possibly deserve the Hart this season, when Wayne got a crappy team into the playoffs and won his team scoring title by 89 points, setting all-time marks for assists and points before he was old enough to shave. It's nuts that it was that close.

1982: Gretzky all the way. 92 goals, 212 points, team-scoring win by 107 points(!). He got 100% of the 1st-place votes for the Hart. (Trottier was in 2nd, with 23% of the votes, but none better than 2nd place.)

1983: Here is the first time where Gretzky might have been legitimately challenged to win the Hart. Not because he didn't totally deserve it, but because of the "competing-with-yourself" rule that the elite athletes are judged by. Anybody else having a 196 point season on the 3rd-best team in the League would be a 100% vote winner, but Gretzky was competing with himself from the previous season, and that leads Hart voters to look elsewhere. 2nd and 3rd-place went to Pete Peeters and Denis Savard, both of whom had worthy-enough seasons, I think. Still, the 1st-place votes were 43 for Gretzky and 14 for Pete Peeters. But Peeters got a lot of votes.

1984: Gretzky deserved it in a landslide. He actually got "only" 55% of the votes despite having the highest PPG in NHL history and scoring 50 goals in 42 games. Rod Langway was 2nd with 18% of the votes.... lol... But anyway, it's a Gretzky landslide.

1985: Gretzky with 53% of the vote. I'm actually surprised he got that much, what with Hawerchuk scoring 130 points and leading Winnipeg to a strong season. Of course, if voters were being objective and not comparing Gretzky to himself, he would surely have gotten 100% of the vote. Anyway, he still got 60 of 63 1st-place votes.

1986: Here's the ultimate example of voters not wanting to vote for Gretzky, despite the overwhelming evidence. Yes, he won the Hart, but with "only" 52% of the vote, in a season when he scored more points than any player in history and led his team to 1st-place overall. Lemieux was 2nd, with 30% of the votes, despite his team missing the playoffs and Gretzky outscoring him by 74 points. Gretzky still got 54 of 60 1st-place votes, though.

1987: Gretzky with 52% of the vote. 2nd-place is Ray Bourque with 20%. Gretzky gets 49 of 54 1st-place votes.



Given this precedent of the 80s, it's both surprising and not surprising that Lemieux didn't win in 1989, but I don't think it's unprecedented (as I'll mention below). It's surprising in the sense that all of Gretzky's wins (except 1980) were in seasons where he had total offensive statistical dominance, as Lemieux did (or didn't...? see below) in '89. But on the other hand, the voting record shows that in two seasons when Gretzky had far more statistical dominance than Lemieux in 1989, a fairly large percentage of voters didn't vote for him! This occurred in 1981 (he barely won the Hart, which is nuts) and in 1983 (he won fairly easily, but Pete Peeters got lots of votes).

About the precedents: Previous to all this, in 1976, Montreal had a better season than Philly and Lafleur outscored Clarke by 6 points, but the Hart went to Clarke. Likewise in 1975, Clarke was 4th in scoring but won the Hart. Bobby Orr was quite clearly (I think) the best player in the NHL all season and set records for a defenceman of goals and points in a season, and outscored Clarke by almost 20 points, and yet Clarke won the Hart. Again, in 1973, Clarke is 3rd in scoring but wins the Hart. In 1971 and 1972, Orr was 2nd in scoring but wins the Hart (though no one would argue with those). 1965, Bobby Hull is 4th in scoring but wins the Hart.

So, clearly it is not unprecedented for one forward to win the Hart who is beaten in scoring by another forward.

But it is rare, if not unprecedented, for a forward to win the scoring title by as much as Lemieux did in 1989 (31 points) and not win.


But here's the catch: When Gretzky was winning in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987, he was outscoring the 2nd-best scorer in the League by at least 70+ points EVERY YEAR. (The exception is 1981, when he outscored #2 by "only" 29 points... but broke all-time records for assists and points in doing it.)

These seasons contrast with Lemieux in 1989, who, despite a fairly easy Art Ross win, beat the 2nd-best scorer by "only" 31 points. Nor did Lemieux break any single-season records in doing so.

What I'm suggesting, then, is that winning a scoring title by 75 points is different from winning a scoring title by 31 points, regardless of the raw points scored.

I think once a player (and they are only Gretzky or Lemieux) gets up to 160+ points, the absolute number of points becomes a bit unimportant in assessing importance to your team. The difference here is that when Gretzky reached (and far surpassed) those levels, nobody else was anywhere close to him. But when Lemieux achieved those levels in 1988 and 1989, Gretzky (and even Yzerman and Nicholls in 1989 somewhat) was close to him. At that point, I think it is justifiable for voters to look beyond who was the best scorer and focus more on who was more impactful on his team that season.

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07-17-2014, 01:47 AM
  #49
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1986: Here's the ultimate example of voters not wanting to vote for Gretzky, despite the overwhelming evidence. Yes, he won the Hart, but with "only" 52% of the vote, in a season when he scored more points than any player in history and led his team to 1st-place overall. Lemieux was 2nd, with 30% of the votes, despite his team missing the playoffs and Gretzky outscoring him by 74 points. Gretzky still got 54 of 60 1st-place votes, though.
You're mistaken in believing Gretzky received 52% of votes. I understand that Gretzky received 281 voting points of the 540 handed out (60 different 5-3-1 ballots), but unless a player is named 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on every ballot, the maximum voting points a player could receive in 1986 is 300 - not 540. So Gretzky received 93.7% of possible votes.

To say the voters did not want to vote for Gretzky because they did not give him 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place is overstating their willingness to recognize lesser players.

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07-17-2014, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
You're mistaken in believing Gretzky received 52% of votes. I understand that Gretzky received 281 voting points of the 540 handed out (60 different 5-3-1 ballots), but unless a player is named 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on every ballot, the maximum voting points a player could receive in 1986 is 300 - not 540. So Gretzky received 93.7% of possible votes.

To say the voters did not want to vote for Gretzky because they did not give him 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place is overstating their willingness to recognize lesser players.
Don't know, I'm just getting this from Hockey-Reference. http://www.hockey-reference.com/awar...1986.html#hart

It appears Gretzky received 54 1st-place votes, and Lemieux received 4 (Coffey and Vanbiesbrouck received 1 each). That strikes me as reasonable.

But the 1981 results (HR doesn't show the vote breakdown, only the total) have Gretzky receiving 242 votes and Liut receiving 237. That strikes me as far wonkier than Gretzky barely beating Lemieux in 1989.

Again, in 1983 Pete Peeters received 14 first-place votes. Still a big win for Gretzky, and I suppose it's at least reasonable to consider a goalie (rather than a forward with 75 less points than Wayne) as MVP.

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