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Hart Memorial Trophy Finalists: Giroux Surprisingly Absent

Thus far in the award announcement process, it has been surprising to see that the Philadelphia Flyers have been noticeably absent in the finalist categories.

In most cases it has been understandable; Matt Read was probably too old to win the Calder trophy as Sean Couturier was too defensive and general manager Paul Holmgren is the head of a franchise that makes the playoffs basically every year.

Really not that hard to understand why they weren’t finalists.

With that being said, it was widely expected that emerging superstar Claude Giroux was going to be a finalist for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Not so fast.

On Friday morning, the league officially announced the finalists and Giroux’s name was shockingly absent.

In his place was the name’s of New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Tampa Bay Lightning scoring machine, Steven Stamkos and shoe-in award winner, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

To be fair, the three finalists had amazing seasons.

Lundqvist led the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference and their first Atlantic Division title since 1993-94. He also recorded career bests in wins (39), save percentage (.930%) and goals against average (1.97).

Stamkos played all 82 games this season and recorded a career-high 60 goals and 97 points. He also scored 12 game-winning goals and was without question the most dangerous player in the league in 2011-12.

Malkin had the best season of any one this year. He recorded a league-high 109 points and was the only player to record at least 50 goals and 50 assists (50-59). If Stamkos was the most dangerous, Malkin was the most dominating.

Where does that leave Giroux?

He had a breakout season that saw him record the third most points in the league and the second most assists. Unquestionably the best player on a talented Philadelphia team, Giroux deserved to be honored for his accomplishments in a year where he was asked to do a lot and did way more.

When you combine the trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in addition to the injury to Chris Pronger, Giroux turned a tough situation into a possible championship run for the Flyers.

Alas, it seems the voters didn’t see things that way.



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Shane Blackburn's picture

Giroux should be a finalist over Stamkos, yes Stamkos scored 60 goals this season and that is incredible and should be recognized but his team finished in 10th place and scoring goals alone should not earn an MVP award. Malkin is probably the best candidate to win this season but he, Giroux and Lundqvist all had exceptional seasons while leading their teams to the Playoffs. That is the sign of a true MVP, not just great numbers, but great numbers when it counts.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Tampa Bay would be in the playoffs in not for terrible goaltending. You can't base it on team results; this is the Hart Trophy; league MVP. Not team MVP - that's the Lindsay award - something I am sure Giroux will win

George Prax's picture

Actually you've got it backwards. The Lindsay award is awarded to the league MVP, as voted by the players, the Hart "is an annual award given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team." Regardless of how the rest of the team played, I don't see how it's fair to give out an award that basically amounts to Team MVP to a player who's team didn't even make the playoffs, regardless of how impressive his individual play was. Giroux was a beast and led that team while Bryzgalov struggled, Pronger and other defensemen were injured and forwards weren't performing.

That said, This should be Malkin's award to lose, based on how he played in Crosby's absence. Memorial Trophy - 2012 NHL Awards
Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Yeah you're right I knew it was one of them. But let's be honest, the palyers will vote for Giroux. He turned into a superstar this year. Malkin is always in the discussion, but I think Giroux is a respected player and might win the Lindsay.

George Prax's picture

Well he should win something for the way he played. I almost hate slagging on Stamkos because he was incredibly impressive this year especially with a shitty team but Giroux came out of nowhere.