The NHL’s most prestigious individual award was first presented in 1924. Calvin Coolidge has just become President of the United States. It wasn’t until Barack Obama’s final year in the White House, an American born and raised, that he won the Hart Memorial Trophy, the tournament’s most valuable player award.
It’s the Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, who won the award in 2016. And he might end up having a contemporary American born and bred soon. Two weeks ago, the NHL announced three Hart finalists this season. There is domination Most Valuable Player Connor McDavidwho is still skating after scoring the winning goal in Thursday night’s playoff-overtime series for Edmonton.
Rangers goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin, who is likely to win the Vezina Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s best player between goalposts and crossbar, is another contender but not a line favorite. Betting. The man with the guts inside doesn’t play for an American franchise but has spent most of his life in Arizona: Auston Matthews of Toronto.
Matthews has Odds +150 to win his first MVP, according to Sportsbettingdime.com. McDavid is second with +400, and Shesterkin is just behind with +600. McDavid led with the oddsmakers for most of the season, with Matthews’ longest odds at +1750 for the season, while Shesterkin had a perfect contention, near +6000 in December.
For a league with a majority of American teams since the “Original Six” lineup in 1942, only Kane from the US has been the top player in the league. Brett Hull has represented the US at the international level and won a Hart Cup in 1991. He was born in Canada and his father, Bobby Hull, has won the MVP award twice, with professional loyalty. with Canada. Kane is not the first American-born player to lift the trophy. It was Billy Burch who won it in 1925 but moved to Canada as an infant.
It’s an odd statistic considering Kane stands alone with how many elite Americans have made it through the league. Mike Modano, Chris Chelios, Pat LaFontaine, Keith Tkachuk and Brian Leetch combined to win three fewer MVPs than Alex Ovechkin. Captain of the Capitals won a trio from 2008-13.
Matthews is the best goal scorer in the NHL so far this season, becoming the only third player break the plain 60 targets since the turn of the century and for the first time in 10 years. Matthews and Steven Stamkos a decade ago each had 60. Ovechkin finished with 65 goals in 2008. That rare achievement with NHL violations becoming more common with production is why mid The Maple Leafs center has a foothold on McDavid, who leads the NHL with 123 points.
The exact date of the trophy ceremony is unknown, as the NHL will take place in a city that doesn’t have a home advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals. The League scheduled a rollout on the night between Games 3 and 4 of the championship series, hosted by the team with the fewer season points.
Will a win Matthews, the second for an American in seven seasons, kick off a new renaissance for those coming from the United States to win at Hart? Nothing. There has not been a single American derision when the NHL intentionally gave its MVP trophy to someone outside the United States. Plus McDavid remains a strong contender for the award. While my vote would go to Matthews, it’s not hard to make an argument for McDavid, the league’s best player overall.
What might help Americans keep an eye on the sport more is having an elite compatriot who plays most of his professional games in the United States. The two best Americans right now in the NHL are Matthews and Johnny Gaudreau. Both just joined Battle for Albertawith Gaudreau likely to play his last game for the Flames after McDavid’s overtime goal.
Gaudreau is third in the regular season with a score of 115. His win rate for MVP is seventh best at +1500, which equates to 15-1 and is 2nd among the Americans. He is currently an unrestricted freelance agent and Rumors swirled revolves around a return to the homeland that could become the focus of the Leaflet. Gaudreau grew up in Salem, New Jersey, about 45 minutes south of Philadelphia. A local lad playing 70 games next season for a major NHL market with incredible stats will make all the difference.
Having Matthews and Gaudreau still healthy in the NHL’s elite skateboarding team is the best chance to see more hardware in an American player’s closet. The NHL has playoff games on several easily accessible cable networks. Lack of visibility is not an issue. Besides, Matthews isn’t going anywhere. I would be shocked if he didn’t win the MVP by the time his career ended, even if McDavid or Shesterkin beat him this year. His win in itself won’t get American Wayne Gretzky to start skating.