The Hart Memorial Trophy is given out to the NHL MVP. The player who does more for their team and the league than anyone else. In a year with Sidney Crosby out due to concussion symptoms, Alex Ovechin is not playing to his potential. Corey Perry is valuable to the Ducks, but not pulling his team like he did last year. He is also surrounded with superstars like Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Teema Selanne. The Sedin twins are just that. Twins. They need each other and have an extremely talented cast around them like Ryan Kesler. Phil Kessel is scoring goals like he eats cheeseburgers, but the Leafs are where they usually are (preparing for extended golf rounds). Steven Stamkos has 40 goals, and his team is selling off assets as they are not going to make the playoffs.
To be the MVP, you don’t have to be the league marquee player. You don’t have to be on television each Sunday thanks to NBC and their Eastern-centric coverage. You don’t have to have a Jeremy Roenick rock star mentality. You just have to be the best player on your team and the one pulling them into the playoffs.
Radim Vrbata is leading his team in goals, second in assists. 10 game winning goals this season, tied for first in the league. 19 road goals. How do you settle your team down on the road and take the crowd out of it? Score. Vrbata is the shootout king, hitting 50% of his chances. And he always is the 2nd or 3rd player to go out. He doesn’t take penalties that hurts his team. He gets extra ice time as playing on his teams number one line and pullling the opposition’s number one line due to having underrated Martin Hanzal as his center.
The Coyotes would not be in 7th place in the Western and 2nd place in the Pacific without the exceptional play of Radim Vrbata. For the voters to overlook Radim Vrbata would say alot about their mentality and their view of the role of each player.