Every year around this time, it seems like the hockey community has the same boring conversation. Should the Hart Trophy go to the league’s best player or the player who is most valuable to his team? Can a Hart come from a non-playoff team? What does value mean anyway? It’s a repetitive, punishing retread of a tired debate, and it always misses the point.
Luckily, this year Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has a great case for winning the Hart. Nonetheless, in the interest of fairness, I’ll compare Ovi’s bonafides to the other big-name Hart contenders so we can end this silly prattle.