Worst choices for award winners

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by reckoning, Apr 17, 2005.

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  1. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    The talk in another thread about why Maurice Richard didn`t win the MVP more got me thinking about who the worst choices for major NHL awards have been. I`ll limit my choices to after expansion:

    Hart: Wayne Gretzky (1989) : This was Gretzky`s first year with L.A. and he was very impressive: 114 assists, 168 points, turned Bernie Nicholls into a 150 point getter (previous career-high was 100),and most importantly took L.A. from 18th overall to 4th overall. It would have been a MVP-worthy season most other years if not for...

    Mario. For a couple of years fans speculated that Mario was poised to surpass Gretzky, this was the year he did. 85 goals, 114 assists, 199 points. Most incredibly was that he did it almost single-handedly: despite missing 4 games he was in on 57% of Pittsburgh`s goals- an all-time record, he outdid Gretzky`s "Nicholls trick" by taking a past and future nobody (Rob Brown) to 5th place in the scoring race and managed to be +41 on a team with a lot of minus players. But it didn`t matter; hockey was big in the U.S. because of Gretzky so he was getting the MVP regardless.

    For the record, I think Gretzky is the best player ever. I`m not one of those people who will try to diminish his accomplishments with ridiculous arguments and career-wise Wayne deserves to be ranked ahead of Mario- significantly ahead. But in `88-`89 Lemieux was better.

    Norris: Rod Langway (1983) : In the early 80s several members of the media started complaining that defensive players weren`t getting any recognition and they had a point. It seemed like every season the defenseman with the most points got the Norris, which had resulted in some average players winning it ( Carlyle and Wilson) so the writers decided that this would be the year a defensive defenseman won the award- since Langway was considered to be the best at that time, he benefitted. Now Langway was a great defensive player, but so were Harper, Seiling, McCrimmon, Macoun etc. They never won the Norris because the writers didn`t feel like honouring defensive players in their best years.

    Langway had a lot to do with Washington`s improvement that year, but was what he brought defensively really better than what Bourque or Howe brought defensively and offensively? I don`t think so.

    Vezina: Jim Carey (1996) : It`s easy to pick on Carey now since his career fizzled after this, but even an unbiased analysis of solely that season shows at least 8 goalies were more deserving of this award than Carey. He won mostly because he had nine shutouts- the most in almost twenty years at the time. The fact that he was American and received a huge P.R. push helped too.

    Calder: Luc Robitaille (1987) : There was another Calder contender that year named Ron Hextall. He won the Vezina that year so some of the writers who were torn between the two said since we`re giving Hextall the Vezina, let`s give Luc the Calder. Look at it this way: Hextall was the best goalie in the league that year, Robitaille wasn`t one of the ten best forwards.

    Selke: Doug Gilmour (1993) : It`s supposed to be for the best defensive forward- period. But in the mid-90s the writers were fixated on giving it to top scorers who weren`t bad defensively.

    Byng: Wayne Gretzky (1999) : I`d be lying if i said i gave a damn about this award, so i didn`t put a lot of thought in this one but Gretzky winning the award in his final year amidst all the press and sentiments about his career suggests it may have been a retirement gift.

    Adams: Bob Francis (2002) : There are about ,oh 20 or 25, bad choices for this one i could`ve mentioned but this was the most recent bad choice i could think of. They usually give this award to the coach whose team had a great improvement in the standings. If they can`t find a suitable winner there then they give it to a coach whose team did well despite losing a star player(s) to injury. If they can`t find anyone there then they give it to a guy who`s been around for a while but hasn`t won it yet. If that doesn`t work then back to step 1.

    Any other choices or comments?
     
  2. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    Blake's Norris in '98 was a pretty bad one considering he was -3. Lidstrom was +22 and outscored Rob 59 to 50. Lidstrom also only had 18 PIMs in the process compared to Rob's 94.

    Oh, just a note regarding the '89 Hart. Yzerman won the Pearson that year. ;)
     
  3. Habsfan 32

    Habsfan 32 Registered User

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    I agree. Blake had a good year but Lidstrom a better one. Theres also Theodore getting the Hart in '02 when I think Iginla deserved it more.
     
  4. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Theodore actually took his team to the playoffs. During the that final 20 game stretch in '02 and parts of the ensuing playoffs, he gave off the most impressive goaltending run I've ever witnessed.
     
  5. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    I agree 100 %

    I remember almost choking on a piece of bread when I heard it announced.
     
  6. Took a pill in Sbisa

    Took a pill in Sbisa 2showToffoliIwascool

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    I like how you said Mario should have won that Hart instead of Gretzky, and it's a very valid point. Same with Luc and Hextall. It'd be great if you mentioned who should have won the other awards..
     
  7. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Hart Trophy: Fedorov in 1994. As weird as it sounds, my pick for the Hart that year was Arturs Irbe, who was phenomenal in getting San Jose into the playoffs, after setting the league record for most losses in a season the year before. Also had Cam Neely (50 goals in 49 games) ahead of Fedorov, but I guess games played was a factor. Still, Sergei was great that year, and it’s not that contentious.
    I’ve rarely disputed the Hart Trophy. In fact, I argued for Pronger over Jagr in 2000 and Theodore over Iginla in 2002 (Habs finish in the bottom five of the league that year without Theodore, remember, it’s the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, not the best player). I would have gone with Yzerman over Mario or Gretzky in 1989, Yzerman turned Gallant into a 50-goal scorer and a 2nd team all-star for crying out loud, but all three had great years.

    Norris: I know the Boston fans will rake me over flaming coals for this one, but Stevens should have won it in 1994. The guy was incredible, scoring over 70 points while dominating physically and in his own zone. Bourque led defencemen in scoring that year, but Stevens was better all-round. (By the way, Langway was very deserving of his two Norris Trophies. The ultimate shut-down guy. Same with Blake in 1998, carried that LA team on his back. He’d have blown Lidstrom’s numbers away playing on a halfway decent team. Was also the best defenceman at that year’s Olympics, if that means anything).

    Vezina: Whole-heartedly agree on Carey. My grandpa could get nine shutouts playing behind that defence in Washington in the mid 1990s. Darren Puppa should have been a unanimous pick for the miracles he worked in Tampa; or Grant Fuhr, who started something like 75 straight games for St. Louis.

    Calder: Bryan Berard in 1997. Not saying that Berard was lousy that year, but Jarome Iginla was so much better it wasn’t even funny. We got a glimpse of the Iggy to come with his physical play and responsible defensive efforts, combined with dazzingly offensive plays. I would have picked Linden over Leetch in 1989, Leetch only won that year because of the New York factor, but hey, we can’t dispute who wound up being the better player.

    Selke: Funny thing was, Gilmour was damn good defensively in 1993. Didn’t hear many complaints about him winning, not like Fedorov in 1996. I’ll take Dirk Graham in 1991, only because Esa Tikannen was at his peak at that time, it was virtually impossible to score when he was on the ice. He was such an all-round force that he was likely one of the 10 best players on the planet.

    Adams: Francis was great in 2002. He did so much with a Phoenix team expected to finish near the bottom. Can’t really remember a year in which I was up in arms over the Adams, maybe Bill Barber in 2001, because he had a lot of talent to work with in Philly, compared with Lindy Ruff in Buffalo or Craig MacTavish in Edmonton, and Barber was exposed the following year.

    Lady Byng: Can’t think of a contentious selection either, but it would have been nice to see Lidstrom win it at some point in the late 90s or early 21st century.
     
  8. gr8haluschak

    gr8haluschak Registered User

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    The 2002 Conn Smythe - How did Yzerman not get the award considering, if I am not mistaken Lidstrom was not the leader in any category that year. The worst awarding of a trophy ever.
     
  9. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    Try defensemen scoring. He led that category while facing off against the opposition's top line and only took one penalty in the process. Stevie could have won that thing too, but I doubt there was one bit of criticism of that selection in the Wing lockerroom.
     
  10. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    People forget that or didn't notice.

    Esa was a three-time finalist for the Selke, which meant he kept getting a lot of votes but never had the most in any one year.
     
  11. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Yzerman won a series standing on one friggin' leg, pulling his entire team out of the gutter, and anybody who watched that series against Vancouver knows it. Then he dominated the next round too. It shouldn't matter if he had less impact after that, he'd earned the Conn Smythe by that point, IMO.

    I like Lidstrom and he played well. But the team which won the Cup knew who was the MVP of that playoffs. It was their captain. Players even kept saying as such up until the Conn Smythe went elsewhere. Then their tune changed, to be PC about it.
     
  12. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    Without Lidstrom that series goes 0-3, his Hail Mary game-winner turned that series around. It was a complete team effort and I guarantee you that vote was close. Without Stevie they don't win, without Lidstrom they don't win. Hasek broke the single playoffs shutout record that year too (Brodeur owns it now). Could have gone a couple different ways.

    For the last two decades Stevie has been the heart and soul of the Red Wings. For the last 8-10 years Lidstrom has been the cornerstone of the team. Can't win without the both of them.
     
  13. sunb

    sunb Registered User

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    Without Yzerman, the Wings would never have recovered from that 0-2 deficit. It was his heroics that revitalized the Wings. I remember Lidstrom scoring two key goals that series, one was the center ice shot. The other was a no-look-behind-the-back pass by an one-legged Yzerman who could barely skate.
     
  14. sparr0w

    sparr0w Registered User

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    Like I said, there is no way the Wings win without the both of them. *shrug*
     
  15. BBruins7719428

    BBruins7719428 Registered User

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    Wasn't there a big dispute over the Messier 90' Hart Trophy over Bourque?
     
  16. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    I remember there being dispute over the '88/89 Calder trophy going to Leetch and some say it should have gone to Linden, but looking at the stats I don't see why. Can anyone elaborate?
     
  17. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    ( :cry: I miss seeing those two in their prime. :cry: Friggin' elite in any era.)

    Either was deserving, both co-winning would've been great. They would've shone brighter if it wasn't for a couple of guys named Wayne and Mario.
     
  18. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

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    I don't see what Wayne Presley and Mario Gosselin have to do with the Hart trophy :dunno:
     
  19. gr8haluschak

    gr8haluschak Registered User

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    Ohh boy not just scoring but defensive scoring - if it was not for him then the Wings don't win the cup, too bad if you want to base winning the award on scoring then it should have been Forsburg.
     
  20. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    :joker: :clap: good one!
     
  21. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    The Vezina in particular has been a joke since the first lockout. No one from the west has won it, even western finalists are few and far between and on top of that Broduer didn't get it till two years ago. Text book case of East Coast bias, which is odd because you'd expect the GM to be more informed than the press.

    The only reason Lidstrom has not won the Byng is his position.
     
  22. waffledave

    waffledave waffledave, from hf

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    Last season, Raycroft winning the Calder over Ryder. The only reason I don't agree is because I don't think Raycroft should have been considered a rookie.
     
  23. Spitfire11

    Spitfire11 Registered User

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    You can argue Yzerman deserved the 2002 Conn Smythe, but there is no way Lidstrom is the "worst choice for the award winner". He scored and set up key goals throughtout their playoff run, especially in the finals and the centre ice goal (which turned the series around). He also had the task of shutting down Forsberg (who was unreal in those playoffs) while being paired with an over-the-hill Olausson. Everyone remembers Yzerman's performance against the Canucks, and he was great, but Lidstrom deserved the Conn Smythe.
     
  24. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    I don't see it as such a tragedy, considering that Hasek and Brodeur have won 7 of the 10 Vezina's since the lockout. They have clearly been the best goalies in the league during that span, regardless of their conference. The only really questionable one would be Carey that I can think of. Theodore certainly deserved his, and Kolzig was a solid choice as well

    You can probably chalk it up to the fact that the west was the stronger conference over the past 10 or 15 years, and the east was filled with more teams that relied heavily on goaltending to have success (Buffalo, Toronto, New Jersey, etc)
     
  25. Mothra

    Mothra The Groovy Guru

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    The award is for most valuable player....Mario may have had the better year as far as stats go, but Pit improved 6 points from the previous year....whereas the Kings improved by 23....that must be taken into consideration

    Well....I just disagree here....there is a reason Langway won the Norris 2 years in a row....and its not because "several members of the media started complaining that defensive players weren`t getting any recognition"....

    Langway didnt have just "a lot to do with" Washingtons improvement.....he had everything....

    338 goals against the year before he arrives
    283 The first year in Washington
    226 The second season (lowest in the NHL and 112 less goals against improvement in 2 seasons)

    yes...he really was that important

    Ok.....find me at least 8 that were more deserving
     
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