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?