Welcome back to my blog for the first time in way too long. I’ll be posting the rest of my Best of 2013 Music posts soon. I ended my brief stint with The Hockey Writers this past week, and you can check out what I did over there if you’d like. But now for random hockey thoughts that interest me today!
It’s time for everybody’s favorite hockey silly season! No no, not Maple Leafs free agency (although that’s part of a great article you should read). It’s end-of-season awards time! Top 10 lists aplenty! Absurd arguments about the very nature of every trophy’s criteria! It’s that last part that I find both fun and frustrating. I get excitably mad whenever I start to think about the trouble of Vezina vs Hart problems (goalies are probably among the most valuable players in any given year), but we’re going to avoid that today.
Instead, let’s just focus in on the biggest individual award: the Hart Trophy. Of course, this means diving right into the giant can of phrasing worms. You already know the problem. “Player most valuable to his team” and “Best overall player” are suddenly forced to do battle. What if the “best”player is on a loaded team? Or what if the “best” player isn’t significantly above his competition and value becomes fuzzy?
Thankfully, we’re in a season where “best player” and “most valuable player” happen to intersect in one dynamic skater. It’s an easy choice for Hart this year. It’s Sidney Crosby and you should stop thinking about it.
Wait. What are you doing. Oh, c’mon. Don’t. Just… oh dear, now look what you’ve done.
Now admittedly I’ve cherry-picked some blatant, blinding homerism in the above examples but there is an issue that exists here. There are real human beings, ones that claim to pay attention to hockey, ones that will tell you a non-Crosby player should come away with league MVP honors this year (or at least should come close).
They’re wrong, of course. Even though you feel like you’re subjected to an infinite loop of Crosby propaganda, I don’t think we stop to actually thinkg about and evaluate how great he has been.