Reevaluating the Hart Part 3: Original Six Hart Trophies

In Part 3 of our series, we tackle the NHL’s most famous era, the Original Six, and the MVP trophies awarded therein. There are a few here that are absolutely outrageous.

Listen here:

1967 – Stan Mikita, C, Black Hawks (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Stan Mikita (1.39 PPG, 97P [tied record], 10.2 PS)
  • Art Ross: Stan Mikita [Tied Record]
  • MVS by PS: Doug Mohns* (11.1 PS, 60P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Doug Mohns* [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by PS: Bobby Hull (9.1 PS, 80P)
  • MVF by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • MVD by PS
    • Dough Mohns* [It seems as though as though Mohns was playing LW but is getting credit for playing D which is skewing the PS calculation]
    • [Probably] Pierre Pilote (9.1 PS, 52P, +54)
  • MVD by DPS
    • Doug Jarrett (6.6 PS, 26P, +43)
    • Pierre Pilote
    • Pat Stapleton (7.2 PS, 34P, +32)
  • MVG: Ed Giacomin (13.2 PS, 30-27-11, .917 SV%, 2.61 GAA, 21 GSAA, 9 SO).
  • Best Player on Best Team (Black Hawks)
    • by Points: Stan Mikita
    • by MVS by PS: Doug Monhs*
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Black Hawks)
    • by Points: Stan Mikita
    • by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Black Hawks)
    • (skater) by PS: Doug Mohns
    • by DPS
      • Doug Jarrett
      • Pierre Pilote
      • Pat Stapleton
    • by GPS: Denis DeJordy (9 PS, 22-12-7, .923 SV%, 2.46 GAA, 21 GSAA, 4 SO)
  • Norris: Harry Howell (6 PS, 40P, +4)
  • Vezina
    • Denis DeJordy
    • Glenn Hall (19-5-5, .922 SV%, 2.38 GAA, 12 GSAA, 2 SO)

No clear winner so we guess the Art Ross winner – the best or second best forward on the best team – is good enough.

Voting:

  1. Mikita: 84 first place votes; 52.5% total vote points
  2. Giacomin: 36 first place votes; 17.81% Total vote points
  3. Hull: 2 first place votes; 6.56% total vote points
  4. Henri Richard: 0 first place votes; 5% total vote points
  5. Howell: 13 first place votes; 4.38% total vote points

Verdict

Fine

1966 – Bobby Hull (2nd), LW, Black Hawks (2nd)

  • Best Player by PPG: Bobby Hull (1.49 PPG, 97P [record], 11.8 PS)
  • Art Ross: Bobby Hull [Record]
  • MVS by PS: Bobby Hull
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Bobby Hull [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • MVD by PS: J.C. Tremblay (7 PS, 35P, +16)
  • MVD by DPS: Jimmy Roberts (5.2 PS, 10P, +7)
  • MVG: Glenn Hall (12.6 PS, 34-22-8, .916 SV%, 2.58 GAA, 24 GSAA, 4 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Bobby Rousseau (78P, 7.7 PS)
    • by MVS by PS
      • Jean Beliveau (7.7 PS, 77P)
      • Bobby Rousseau
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Black Hawks, by 1 goal)
    • by Points: Bobby Hull
    • by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • (skater) by PS
      • Jean Beliveau
      • Bobby Rousseau
    • by DPS: Jimmy Roberts (5.2 PS, 10P)
    • by GPS: Gump Worsley (11 PS, 28-13-6, .917 SV%, 2.36 GAA, 17 GSAA, 2 SO)
  • Norris: Jacques Laperriere (6.5 PS, 31P, +14)
  • Vezina
    • Charlie Hodge (13-8-2, .905 SV%, .905 GAA, 2.58 GAA, 0 GSAA, 1 SO)
    • Gump Worsley

This time Hull deserved it, at least by the “Best Forward” version of the award.

Voting:

  1. Hull: 79 first place votes; 55.13% total vote points
  2. Beliveau: 3 first place votes; 22.43% total vote points
  3. Gordie Howe: 13 first place votes; 9.13% total vote points
  4. Hall: 21 first place votes; 7.98% total vote points
  5. Norm Ullman: 14 first place votes; 5.32% total vote points

Verdict:

Good

1965 – Bobby Hull, LW, Black Hawks (3rd by points, 2nd by SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG: Stan Mikita (1.24 PPG, 87P, 9.2 PS)
  • Art Ross: Stan Mikita
  • MVS by PS:Pierre Pilote (10.6 PS, 59P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Pierre Pilote [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by PS: Norm Ullman (83P, 10.2 PS)
  • MVF by OPS: Norm Ullman
  • MVD by DPS
    • Al McNeil (4.9 PS, 10P, +30)
    • Moose Vasko (4.8 PS, 11P, +13)
    • [Three more tied with 4.9 DPS but ranked 3rd so presumably leaders are 4.9x and 3rd place are 4.9y]
  • MVG: Roger Crozier (14.4 PS, 40-22-7, .913 SV%, 2.42 GAA, 9 GSAA, 6 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Norm Ullman
    • by MVS by PS: Norm Ullman
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Black Hawks, Red Wings)
    • by Points
      • Stan Mikita (Hawks)
      • Norm Ullman (Wings)
    • by OPS
      • Bobby Hull (Hawks, 9 PS, 71P)
      • Stan Mikita (Hawks)
      • Norm Ullman (Wings)
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Maple Leafs, by 2 goals)
    • (skater) by PS: Tim Horton (7.4 PS, 28P)
    • by DPS
      • Bob Baun (5.3 PS, 18P)
      • Carl Brewer (6.5 PS, 27P)
      • Tim Horton
    • by GPS: Johnny Bower (7.2 PS, 14-13-7, .924 SV%, 2.38 GAA, 17 GSAA, 3 SO)
  • Norris: Pierre Pilote (+25)
  • Vezina: Johnny Bower

There’s no clear-cut candidate this year but Bobby Hull feels like the wrong one.

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
Hull, BoBlack Hawks613932713190.640.521.160.510.15Yes
MikitaBlack Hawks70285987329.20.400.841.240.460.13No
UllmanRed Wings704241833510.20.600.591.190.500.152nd

Voting:

  1. Hull: 88 first place votes; 37.59% total vote points
  2. Ullman: 22 first place votes; 35.04% total vote points
  3. Gordie Howe: 9 first place votes; 12.77% total vote points
  4. Crozier: 8 first place votes; 8.76% total vote points
  5. Charlie Hodge: 16 first place votes; 5.84% total vote points

Verdict:

Controversial

1964 – Jean Beliveau (2nd), C, Canadiens (1st by points, 2nd by SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG: Stan Mikita (1.24 PPG, 89P, 10.7 PS)
  • Art Ross: Stan Mikita
  • MVS by PS:Bobby Hull (10.9 PS, 87P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Bobby Hull [Technically no MVS]
  • MVF by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • MVD by PS: Pierre Pilote (9.6 PS, 53P, +31)
  • MVD by DPS
    • Terry Harper (5.6 PS, 17P)
    • J.C. Tremblay (6.4 PS, 21P)
  • MVG: Glenn Hall (13.5 PS, 34-19-11, .930 SV%, 2.3 GAA, 29 GSAA, 7 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Jean Beliveau (78P, 8.7 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Jean Beliveau
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Black Hawks)
    • by Points: Stan Mikita
    • by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens, by 2 goals)
    • (skater) by PS: Jean Beliveau
    • by DPS
      • Terry Harper
      • J.C. Tremblay
    • by GPS: Charlie Hodge (13.3 PS, 33-18-11, .920 SV%, 2.26 GAA, 7 GSAA, 8 SO)
  • Norris: Pierre Pilote
  • Vezina: Charlie Hodge

One year, the Hart trophy goes to the best forward in the league, the next it goes to the best forward on the “best” team. 

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGPGAPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
Bathgate2 Teams71195877266.90.270.821.080.370.10No
BeliveauCanadiens68285078298.70.410.741.150.430.13Yes
HoweRed Wings69264773277.50.380.681.060.390.113rd
Hull, BoBlack Hawks704344873610.90.610.631.240.510.162nd
MikitaBlack Hawks703950893510.70.560.711.270.500.155th

Voting:

  1. Beliveau: 82 first place votes; 31.78% total vote points
  2. Hull: 32 first place votes; 18.07% total vote points
  3. Gordie Howe: 10 first place votes; 15.58% total vote points
  4. Hodge: 0 first place votes; 13.4% total vote points
  5. Mikita: 12 first place votes; 9.35% total vote points

You’d think Hull and Mikita split the vote – their seasons were too similar – but that’s not what happened. Beliveau was the clear favourite despite the Habs being only marginally superior to the Hawks and only if you believe wins are everything. (1 more point, 2 fewer goals against, 9 fewer goals for, and the Hawks had a better SRS, which nobody could know at the time, of course.)

Verdict

Definitely has the whiff of controversy.

1963 – Gordie Howe (6th), RW, Red Wings (4th)

  • Best Player by PPG: Gordie Howe (1.23 PPG, 86P, 9.5 PS)
  • Art Ross: Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS: Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Gordie Howe [Technically no MVS by standings for usual reason]
  • MVF by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • MVD by PS: Tim Horton (6.7 PS, 25P, +1)
  • MVD by DPS
    • Carl Brewer (6.4 PS, 25P, +32)
    • Kent Douglas (6.6 PS, 22P, +18)
    • Tim Horton
  • MVG: Glenn Hall (13.6 PS, 30-20-15, .918 SV%, 2.47 GAA, 20 GSAA, 5 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Maple Leafs)
    • by Points: Frank Mahovlich (73P, 8.4 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Frank Mahovlich
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Henri Richard (73P, 7 PS)
    • by OPS: Henri Richard
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Black Hawks, by two goals)
    • (skater) by PS: Stan Mikita (7.8 PS, 76P)
    • by DPS
      • Al MacNeil (5.6 PS, 21P)
      • Bob Turner (4.4 PS, 6P)
    • by GPS: Glenn Hall
  • Norris: Pierre Pilote (6.1 PS, 26, -4)
  • Vezina: Glenn Hall

Howe deserves it again! (Unless you subscribe to the various voting theories that led to people like Plante and Bathgate winning the award…)

Voting:

  1. Howe: 30 first place votes; 40.51% total vote points
  2. Mikita: 35 first place votes; 19.71% total vote points
  3. Terry Sawchuk: 37 first place votes; 16.06% total vote points
  4. Hall: 21 first place votes; 15.53% total vote points
  5. Mahovlich: 16 first place votes; 8.39% total vote points

Verdict

Correct

1962 – Jacques Plante, G, Canadiens (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG
    • Andy Bathgate (1.2 PPG, 84P, 7.9 PS)
    • Bobby Hull (1.2 PPG, 84P, 10 PS)
  • Art Ross: Bobby Hull [By the Goals tie-breaker]
  • MVS by PS: Bobby Hull
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Andy Bathgate
  • MVF by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • MVD by PS: Jean-Guy Talbot (9.1 PS, 47P)
  • MVD by DPS
    • Jean-Guy Talbot
    • J.C. Tremblay (6.4 PS, 20P)
  • MVG: Jacques Plante (15.6 PS, 42-14-14, .923 SV%, 2.37 GAA, 37 GSAA, 4 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Ralph Backstrom (65P, 6.7 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Jean Guy-Talbot
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Ralph Backstrom
    • by OPS: Claude Provost (6.7 PS, 62P)
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • (skater) by PS: Jean-Guy Talbot
    • by DPS
      • Jean-Guy Talbot
      • J.C. Tremblay
    • by GPS: Jacques Plante
  • Norris: Doug Harvey
  • Vezina: Jacques Plante

We don’t like giving the Hart trophy to a Goalie. But I get the reasoning here:

The Habs were the best team in the league by a fair margin (13 points). But the Habs skaters this year don’t really impress as nobody even topped 1 PPG and the D didn’t contribute enough to the scoring. We get the reasoning.

This would have been Hull’s by the most common version of the award but Plante played every game of the season and seemingly every minute of every game. And he did while being the undisputable best goalie in the league.

One of us doesn’t like it but we get it: Plante was the Habs’ MVP and the Habs were clearly the best team.

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
BathgateRangers70285684307.90.400.801.200.430.115th
HayBlack Hawks60115263204.90.180.871.050.330.08No
Hull, BoBlack Hawks7050348436100.710.491.200.510.143rd

Voting:

  1. Plante: 40 first place votes; 29.01% total vote points
  2. Doug Harvey: 53 first place votes; 18.52% total vote points
  3. Bobby Hull: 0 first place votes; 1.6.36% total vote points
  4. Gordie Howe: 23 first place votes; 12.35% total vote points
  5. Bathgate: 10 first place votes; 9.57% total vote points

Verdict:

Only controversial if you don’t believe Goalies should win the Hart.

1961 – Bernie Geoffrion, Candiens (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Bernie Geoffrion (1.48 PPG, 95P, 11.6 PS)
  • Art Ross: Bernie Geoffrion
  • MVS by PS:  Bernie Geoffrion
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Bernie Geoffrion [Technically no MVS by standings because all the playoff teams were much better than the non]
  • MVF by OPS: Bernie Geoffrion
  • MVD by PS: Allan Stanley (8.1 PS, 34, +24)
  • MVD by DPS: Bob Baun (5.7 PS, 15P, +19))
  • MVG: Glenn Hall (14.4 PS, 29-24-17, .920 SV%, 2.53 GAA, 26 GSAA, 6 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Bernie Geoffrion
    • by MVS by PS: Bernie Geoffrion
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Bernie Geoffrion
    • by OPS: Bernie Geoffrion
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Toronto Maple Leafs)
    • (skater) by PS: Frank Mahovlich (10.4 PS, 84P)
    • by DPS: Bob Baun
    • by GPS: Johnny Bower (12.1 PS, 33-15-10, .923 SV%, 2.50 GAA, 27 GSAA, 2 SO)
  • Norris: Doug Harvey (6.4 PS, 39P, +16)
  • Vezina: Johnny Bower

Voting:

  1. Geoffrion: 29 first place votes; 29.27% total vote points
  2. Bower: 48 first place votes; 24.74% total vote points
  3. Gordie Howe: 32 first place votes; 23% total vote points
  4. Mahovlich: 34 first place votes; 14.29% total vote points
  5. Hall: 9 first place votes; 8.71% total vote points

The voting is crazy and makes no sense.

Verdict:

Best forward in the league on the best team in the league. Correct.

1960 – Gordie Howe (5th), RW, Red Wings (4th)

  • Best Player by PPG: Jean Beliveau (1.23 PPG, 74P, 8.4 PS)
  • Art Ross: Bobby Hull (81P, 9.2 PS)
  • MVS by PS:  Bobby Hull
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Bobby Hull
  • MVF by OPS: Bobby Hull
  • MVD by PS: Pierre Pilote (8.3 PS, 45P, +20)
  • MVD by DPS: Pierre Pilote
  • MVG
    • Glenn Hall (14 PS, 28-29-13, .918 SV%, 2.56 GAA, 22 GSAA, 6 SO)
    • Jacques Plante (14 PS, 40-17-12, .915 SV%, 2.54 GAA, 15 GSAA, 3 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Jean Beliveau
    • by MVS by PS: Jean Beliveau
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Jean Beliveau
    • by OPS: Jean Beliveau
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • (skater) by PS: Jean Beliveau,
    • by DPS: Jean-Guy Talbot (5 PS, 15P)
    • by GPS: Jacques Plante 
  • Norris: Doug Harvey (6.4 PS, 27, +37)
  • Vezina: Jacques Plante

If we go with the Best Player on the Best Team interpretation this award should go to Beliveau. He had a significantly better PPG than Hull too.

Howe’s case is not exactly ironclad:

  • Not in the Top 5 in Goals
  • 8th in GPG
  • 3rd in Assists
  • 6th in APG
  • 5th in Points
  • 6th in PPG
  • 5th in Goals Created
  • 6th in GCPG
  • 6th in OPS
  • Not in the Top 10 in PS

It would be a stretch to claim that Howe was a Top 5 forward this season, unless we’re suddenly considering intangibles. (Intangibles!!!)

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
BeliveauCanadiens60344074298.40.570.671.230.480.144th
GeoffrionCanadiens59304171277.80.510.691.200.460.13No
HorvathBruins68394180328.70.570.601.180.470.13No
HoweRed Wings70284573287.40.400.641.040.400.111st
Hull, BoBlack Hawks70394281339.20.560.601.160.470.132nd
McKenneyBruins70204969245.80.290.700.990.340.08No

Voting:

  1. Howe: 59 first place votes; 43.48% total vote points
  2. Hull: 31 first place votes; 20.22% total vote points
  3. Hall: 0 first place votes; 16.18% total vote points
  4. Beliveau: 0 first place votes; 10.29% total vote points
  5. Bert Olmstead: 0 first place votes; 9.93% total vote points

Verdict:

Bad

1959 – Andy Bathgate, RW, Rangers (5th out of 6, missed playoffs)

  • Best Player by PPG: Jean Beliveau (1.42 PPG, 91P, 11 PS)
  • Art Ross: Dickie Moore (96P, 11PS) [Record]
  • MVS by PS
    • Jean Beliveau
    • Dickie Moore
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Ed Litzenberger (8.3 PS, 77P)
  • MVF by OPS: Jean Beliveau
  • MVD by PS: Tom Johnson (8.8 PS, 39P)
  • MVD by DPS: Tom Johnson
  • MVG: Jacques Plante (15.6 PS, 38-16-13, .925 SV%, 2.16 GAA, 39 GSAA, 9 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Dickie Moore
    • by MVS by PS
      • Jean Beliveau
      • Dickie Moore
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Dickie Moore
    • by OPS: Jean Beliveau
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • (skater) by PS: Jean Beliveau, Dickie Moore
    • by DPS: Tom Johnson
    • by GPS: Jacques Plante
  • Norris: Tom Johnson
  • Vezina: Jacques Plante

You either believe the league MVP award can go to a player on a team that doesn’t even make the playoffs or you don’t. (We strongly believe there should be two awards, a “Best Player” or “Best Forward” award and an MVP, as they are different criteria so that we can avoid these stupid debates, but alas, we don’t have that.)

But even if you do believe, for some reason, that the league Most Valuable Player can go to a team that misses the playoffs, it’s particularly difficult to make the case in a league where 67% of the teams make the playoffs, but your MVP candidate is on a team which is in that bottom 33% of the league.

Bathgate was

  • 3rd in Goals (by 5)
  • 3rd in GPG (by .13)
  • 2nd in Assists (by 7)
  • 4th in APG (by .1)
  • 3rd in Points (by 8)
  • 3rd in PPG (by .16)
  • 3rd in Goals Created
  • 3rd in GCPG
  • 3rd in OPS
  • 6th in PS (3rd skater)

He was, by basically every metric we have, the 3rd best forward in the league this year.

But context matters, right? The Rangers were the third best offensive team but were nearly the worst defensive team in the league. So the argument must have been that, without Bathgate, the Rangers would have been even worse. (Shades of Al Rollins.)

This is the only case We can find: Andy Bathgate scored 15 more points (in 70 games) than the next best offensive player on this team. (7 goals ahead of the next player but only 2 assists ahead of the next player.) If this is our criteria, surely Dionne deserved some Hart trophies and Gretzky deserved more Hart trophies, even when his team sucked. And what about Pierre Turgeon in the early ‘90s or Steve Yzerman in the late ‘80s? Their complimentary players sucked too.

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
BathgateRangers70404888359.90.570.691.260.500.14Yes
BeliveauCanadiens6445469137110.700.721.420.580.173rd
MooreCanadiens7041559637110.590.791.370.530.165th

This is an interpretation of the Hart that is utterly baffling: the best player on one of the worst teams, simply because his teammates weren’t as good as the better forwards on the Habs. You’d think Beliveau and Moore split the vote but you’d be wrong; Bathgate got almost 50% of the votes – including double the first place votes of Beliveau – whereas Moore got less than 10% of Bathgate’s total votes.

Voting:

  1. Bathgate: 67 first place votes; 48.54% total vote points
  2. Gordie Howe: 36 first place votes; 21.9% total vote points
  3. Beliveau: 0 first place votes; 13.14% total vote points
  4. Terry Sawchuk: 31 first place votes; 12.41% total vote points
  5. Moore: 1 first place vote; 4.01% total vote points

Verdict:

Terrible.

1958: Gordie Howe (4th), RW, Red Wings (3rd by points, 4th by SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG
    • Andy Bathgate (1.2 PPG, 78P, 8.8 PS)
    • Gordie Howe (1.2 PPG, 77P, 8.8 PS)
    • Dickie Moore (1.2 PPG, 84P, 9.7 PS)
  • Art Ross: Dickie Moore
  • MVS by PS:  Dickie Moore
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Dickie Moore [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by OPS: Dickie Moore
  • MVD by PS: Doug Harvey (9 PS, 41P)
  • MVD by DPS: Doug Harvey
  • MVG: Jacques Plante (13.2 PS, 34-24-8, .924 SV%, 2.11 GAA, 24 GSAA, 9 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Dickie Moore
    • by MVS by PS: Dickie Moore
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Dickie Moore
    • by OPS: Dickie Moore
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • (skater) by PS: Dickie Moore
    • by DPS: Doug Harvey
    • by GPS: Jacques Plante
  • Norris: Doug Harvey
  • Vezina: Jacques Plante

We don’t think Howe deserved this one. Maybe it was a makeup year for 1954.

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
BathgateRangers65304878308.80.460.741.200.460.142nd
GeoffrionCanadiens42272350216.30.640.551.190.500.15No
HoweRed Wings64334477308.80.520.691.200.470.14Yes
MooreCanadiens
70364884329.70.510.691.200.460.14No
Richard, MCanadiens67285280298.60.420.781.190.430.134th

Voting:

  1. Howe: 47 first place votes; 32.61% total vote points
  2. Bathgate: 11 first place votes; 21.74% total vote points
  3. Harvey: 27 first place votes; 12.73% total vote points
  4. Henri Richard: 30 first place votes, 12.42% total vote points
  5. Glenn Hall: 23 first place votes; 11.49% total vote points

Verdict

Controversial

1957: Gordie Howe (3rd), RW, Red Wings (1st by points, 2nd by SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG: Gordie Howe (1.27 PPG, 89P, 11.8 PS)
  • Art Ross: Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS: Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Gordie Howe [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • MVD by PS: Doug Harvey (9.8 PS, 50P)
  • MVD by DPS
    • Doug Harvey
    • Tom Johnson (6 PS, 15P)
  • MVG: Glenn Hall (14.8 PS, 38-20-12, .928 SV%, 2.22 GAA, 37 GSAA, 4 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by MVS by PS: Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Jean Beliveau
    • by OPS: Jean Beliveau
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • (skater) by PS: Jean Beliveau
    • by DPS
      • Doug Harvey
      • Tom Johnson
    • by GPS: Jacques Plante (14.2 PS, 31-18-12, .920 SV%, 2.00 GAA, 14 GSAA, 9 SO)
  • Norris: Doug Harvey
  • Vezina: Jacques Plante

Because of better goaltending (as far as we can tell), the Wings had the better record than the Habs, who had a significantly better goal differential. Howe was the best player on the best team by record. That’s probably good enough. (It’s worth noting he was also the best forward in the league by most metrics.)

Voting:

  1. Howe: 43 first place votes; 38.95% total vote points
  2. Beliveau: 51 first place votes; 20.35% total vote points
  3. Andy Bathgate: 0 first place votes; 17.89% total vote points
  4. Terry Sawchuk: 35 first place votes; 12.28% total vote points
  5. Harvey: 15 first place votes; 5.96% total vote points

Verdict:

Fine

1956: Jean Beliveau, C, Canadiens (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Jean Beliveau (1.26 PPG, 88P, 13 PS)
  • Art Ross: Jean Beliveau
  • MVS by PS: Jean Beliveau
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Todd Sloan (9.3 PS, 66P)
  • MVF by OPS: Jean Beliveau
  • MVD by PS: Red Kelly (11.2 PS, 50P)
  • MVD by DPS: Jean-Guy Talbot (6.1 PS, 14P)
  • MVG: Jacques Plante (15.1 PS, 42-12-10, .930 SV%, 1.86 GAA, 18 GSAA, 7 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Jean Beliveau
    • by MVS by PS: Jean Beliveau
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Jean Beliveau
    • by OPS: Jean Beliveau
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Red Wings)
    • (skater) by PS: Jean Beliveau
    • by DPS: Jean-Guy Talbot
    • by GPS: Jacques Plante
  • Norris: Doug Harvey (9.6 PS, 44P)
  • Vezina: Jacques Plante

Seems pretty open and shut.

Voting:

  1. Beliveau: 53 first place votes; 29.28% total vote points
  2. Sloan: 14 first place votes; 26.79% total vote points
  3. Gump Worsley: 55 first place votes; 22.43% total vote points
  4. Red Kelly: 14 first place votes; 7.79% total vote points
  5. Doug Harvey: 6 first place votes; 3.43% total vote points

Verdict:

Correct

1955: Ted Kennedy, C, Maple Leafs (3rd)

  • Best Player by PPG: Maurice Richard (1.1 PPG, 74P, 10.3 PS)
  • Art Ross: Bernie Geoffrion (75P, 10.3 PS)
  • MVS by PS:  Red Kelly (11.1 PS, 45P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Red Kelly [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by PS: 
    • Bernie Geoffrion
    • Maurice Richard
  • MVF by OPS: Maurice Richard
  • MVD by DPS
    • Jim Morrison (6.9 PS, 17P)
    • Jimmy Thomson (6.6 PS, 16P)
  • MVG: Harry Lumley (16.2 PS, 23-24-22, 1.91 GAA, 8 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Dutch Reibel (66P, 8.5 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Red Kelly
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Bernie Geoffrion
    • by OPS: Maurice Richard
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Red Wings, by 1 goal)
    • (skater) by PS: Red Kelly
    • by DPS
      • Red Kelly
      • Marcel Pronovost (9.2 PS, 34P)
    • by GPS: Terry Sawchuk (15.4 PS, 40-17-11, 2.23 GAA, 12 SO)
  • Norris: Doug Harvey (9.7 PS, 49P)
  • Vezina: Terry Sawchuk

Howe had an off year, resulting in no consensus candidate. 

Still, the choice of Ted Kennedy is curious. The Leafs were the worst offensive team in the league but were 1 goal away from being tied for the best defensive team in the league. So the voters gave it to their centre???

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
GeoffrionCanadiens703837753110.30.540.531.070.440.15No
KellyRed Wings701530451711.10.210.430.640.240.16No
KennedyMaple Leafs70104252185.30.140.600.740.260.08Yes
OlmsteadCanadiens70104858195.50.140.690.830.270.08No
Richard, MCanadiens673836743110.30.570.541.100.460.153rd

Voting:

  1. Kennedy: 40 first place votes, 38.74% total vote points
  2. Lumley: 23 first place votes, 27.48% total vote points
  3. Richard: 19 first place votes, 16.22% total vote points
  4. Jean Beliveau: 14 first place votes, 9.46% total vote points
  5. Doug Harvey: 7 first place votes, 8.11%  total vote points

Verdict:

Controversial

1954: Al Rollins, G, Black Hawks (6th/last; 37 points behind second last)

  • Best Player by PPG: Gordie Howe (1.16 PPG, 81P, 11.6 PS)
  • Art Ross: Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS:  Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Gordie Howe [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • MVD by PS: Red Kelly (11.3 PS, 49P)
  • MVD by DPS: Tim Horton (8.9 PS, 31P)
  • MVG: Harry Lumley (32-24-13, 1.86 GAA, 13 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by MVS by PS: Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Maurice Richard (67P, 10.1 PS)
    • by OPS: Maurice Richard
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Maple Leafs, by 1 goal)
    • (skater) by PS: Tim Horton
    • by DPS: Tim Horton
    • by GPS: Harry Lumley
  • Norris: Red Kelly
  • Vezina: Hartry Lumley

Sure, Gordie Howe has a less impressive case in 1954 than he had in 1953 or even 1952, but he was still the best player in the league playing for the best team.

Experiencing Gordie Howe MVP fatigue, the voters, instead of choosing Richard or someone else with a case, voted for the goalie on the league’s worst team. This has never happened before or since in the history of the NHL and we doubt there’s a comparable in another of the Big 4 sports. (It’s like the quarterback of the worst team in the NFL winning the MVP, or the starter with the most innings on the worst team in the Majors winning the MVP.)

In a 6 team league, Rollins was:

  • 5th in minutes
  • 6th in Wins
  • 1st in Losses
  • 5th in Ties
  • 1st in Goals Against
  • 6th in GAA
  • 5th in Shutouts (3-way tie)
  • 7th in Goalie Point Shares (i.e. there was a backup on another team deemed to have contributed more team points than Rollins by the Point Shares metric)

There are some who want to excuse this, the worst ever Hart Trophy vote in the history of the NHL but, if you are one of those people, we ask you to apply that same logic to any other year in NHL history, and tell us all who should win the Hart in those years.

Voting for a mediocre goalie on the worst team in the league is a fucking disaster and it is the best example of why we can’t just accept the awards of the past.

Yes, the Hawks were the worst offensive team in the league, but did Al Rollins really make them less bad defensively given they were a far worse defensive team this season?

They weren’t just the worst team, they were the worst team by a lot.

It’s lunacy.

Voting:

[Note: the process seems to have changed this year, which could maybe account for the ridiculousness of the result]

  1. Rollins: 50 first place votes, 30.53% total vote points
  2. Red Kelly: 40 first place votes, 28.24% total vote points
  3. Richard: 20 first place votes, 16.79% total vote points
  4. Howe: 22 first place votes, 12.6% total vote points
  5. Lumley: 10 first place votes, 11.83% total vote points

Verdict

The worst MVP award in the history of North American pro sports.

1953: Gordie Howe (2nd), RW, Red Wings (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Gordie Howe (1.36 PPG, 95P, 15.5 PS)
  • Art Ross: Gordie Howe [Record]
  • MVS by PS:  Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Maurice Richard (8.3 PS, 61P)
  • MVF by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • MVD by PS: Red Kelly (12.2 PS, 46P)
  • MVD by DPS
    • Bob Goldham (6.2 PS, 14P)
    • Red Kelly
    • Benny Woit (5.2 PS, 6P)
  • MVG: Terry Sawchuk (14 PS, 31-15-16, 1.89 GAA, 9 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by MVS by PS: Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Red Wings)
    • (skater) by PS: Gordie Howe
    • by DPS
      • Bob Goldham
      • Red Kelly
      • Benny Woit
    • by GPS: Terry Sawchuk
  • Vezina: Terry Sawchuk

Howe has an even better case this season.

Voting: 

  1. Howe: 9 first place votes, 64.44% total vote points
  2. Al Rollins: 3 first place votes, 27.78% total vote points
  3. Kelly: 2 first place votes, 27.78% total vote points
  4. Gerry McNeil: 3 first place votes, 17.78% total vote points
  5. Ted Kennedy: 1 first place vote, 13.33% total vote points

Verdict:

No doubt.

1952 – Gordie Howe, RW, Red Wings (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Gordie Howe (1.23 PPG, 86P, 13.1 PS)
  • Art Ross: Gordie Howe [Record]
  • MVS by PS:  Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Gordie Howe [Technically no MVS by standings]
  • MVF by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • MVD by PS: Red Kelly (11.8 PS, 47P)
  • MVD by DPS
    • Bob Goldham (6.4 PS, 14P)
    • Marcel Pronovost (7.6 PS, 18P)
  • MVG: Terry Sawchuk (16.6 PS, 44-14-12, 1.9 GAA, 12 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by MVS by PS: Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Red Wings)
    • (skater) by PS: Gordie Howe
    • by DPS
      • Bob Goldham
      • Marcel Pronovost
    • by GPS: Terry Sawchuk
  • Vezina: Terry Sawchuk

Voting:

  1. Howe: 9 first place votes, 77.5% total vote points
  2. Elmer Lach: 3 first place votes, 57.5% total vote points
  3. Jim Henry: 2 first place votes, 17.5% total vote points
  4. Sawchuk: 1 first place vote, 16.25% total vote points
  5. Milt Schmidt: 1 first place vote, 16.25% total vote points

Verdict

No doubt.

1951 – Milt Schmidt, C, Bruins (4th)

  • Best Player by PPG: Gordie Howe (1.23 PPG, 86P, 12.1 PS)
  • Art Ross: Gordie Howe
  • MVS by PS
    • Gordie Howe
    • Red Kelly (12.1 PS, 54P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Maurice Richard (9.6 PS, 66P)
  • MVF by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • MVD by DPS: Jimmy Thomson (8.8 PS, 36P)
  • MVG: Terry Sawchuk (17 PS, 44-13-13, 1.97 GAA, 11 SO) [PS Record]
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings [record])
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by MVS by PS
      • Gordie Howe
      • Red Kelly
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Gordie Howe
    • by OPS: Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Maple Leafs, by a goal)
    • by PS: Jimmy Thomson
    • by DPS: Jimmy Thomson
    • by GPS: All Rollins (10.4 PS, 26-6-7, 1.77 GAA, 5 SO)
  • Vezina: Al Rollins

This was Howe’s trophy by just about any interpretation.

Voting:

  1. Milt Schmidt: 10 first place votes, 74.07% total vote points
  2. Richard: 5 first place votes, 51.85% total vote points
  3. Kelly: 1 first place vote, 20.37% total vote points
  4. Howe: 0 first place votes, 20.37% total vote points
  5. Ted Kennedy: 0 first place votes; 14.81% total vote points

Other players with 1st place votes:

  • Bert Olmstead: 2 first place votes, 11.11% total vote points

Verdict:

Controversial.

1950 – Chuck Rayner, G, Rangers (4th)

  • Best Player by PPG: Ted Lindsay (1.13 PPG, 78P, 9PS)
  • Art Ross: Ted Lindsay
  • MVS by PS:  Red Kelly (9.6 PS, 40P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Red Kelly [Technically nobody]
  • MVF by PS: Maurice Richard (9.4 PS, 65P)
  • MVF by OPS
    • Sid Abel (9.2 PS, 69P)
    • Goride Howe (9.2 PS, 68P)
    • Maurice Richard
  • MVD by DPS
    • Butch Bouchard (5.2 PS, 8P)
    • Doug Harvey (7.2 PS, 24P)
  • MVG: Bill Durnan (14.2 PS, 26-21-17, 2.2 GAA, 8 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Ted Lindsay
    • by MVS by PS: Red Kelly
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Ted Lindsay
    • by OPS
      • Sid Abel
      • Gordie Howe
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by PS: Maurice Richard
    • by DPS
      • Butch Bouchard
      • Doug Harvey
    • by GPS: Bill Durnan
  • Vezina: Bill Durnan

Rayner was

  • 2nd in Minutes
  • 3rd in Wins
  • 2nd in Losses
  • 5th in Ties
  • 4th in GAA
  • 4th in Shut Outs
  • 4th in Goalie Point Shares

In a six team league.

The Rangers were the 4th best (3rd worst) defensive team. But they were the worst offensive team in the league! So the only reason they made the playoffs was their goalie! Rewarding mediocrity makes the most sense.

Lindsay, the presumptive favourite based on the numbers,. somehow didn’t even get a first place vote, which is insane.

Voting: 

  1. Rayner: 8 first place votes, 66.67% total vote points
  2. Ted Kennedy: 4 first place votes, 42.59% total vote points
  3. Richard: 3 first place votes, 33.33% total vote points
  4. Sid Abel: 0 first place votes, 18.52% total vote points
  5. Milt Schmidt: 1 first place vote, 11.11% total vote points
  6. Durnan: 2 first place votes, 11.11% total vote points [And no, we don’t know why he is ranked lower than Schmidt, who got one less first place vote]

Verdict:

Controversial

1949 – Sid Abel, C, Red Wings (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Doug Bentley (1.14 PPG, 66P, 7 PS)
  • Art Ross: Roy Conacher (68P, 7.4 PS)
  • MVS by PS:  
    • Roy Conacher
    • Ted Lindsay (7.4 PS, 54P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Ted Lindsay [Technically there was no MVS by seeding because the playoff teams were too much better than the non playoff teams]
  • MVF by OPS: Roy Conacher
  • MVD by PS: Glen Harmon (7.1 PS, 20P)
  • MVD by DPS: Glen Harmon
  • MVG: Bill Durnan (13.9 PS, 28-23-9, 2.1 GAA, 10 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points
      • Sid Abel (54P, 7.3 PS
      • Ted Lindsay
    • by MVS by PS: Ted Lindsay
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points
      • Sid Abel
      • Ted Lindsay
    • by OPS: Ted Lindsay
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by PS: Glen Harmon
    • by DPS: Glen Harmon
    • by GPS: Bill Durnan
  • Vezina: Bill Durnan

Normally this would have been Conacher’s award but he missed the playoffs so this year the voters decided to give it to the best offensive player on the best team.

Depending upon how you feel about Point Shares, that was either Abel (a centre) or Lindsay (a winger). Without ice time I’m torn as to who was more valuable.

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
AbelRed Wings60282654257.30.470.430.900.420.12Yes
Bentley, DBlack Hawks582343662670.400.741.140.450.124th
Conacher, RBlack Hawks60264268277.40.430.701.130.450.123rd
LindsayRed Wings50262854247.40.520.561.080.480.154th

Voting:

  1. Abel: 11 first place votes, 39.81% total vote points
  2. Durnan: 6 first place votes, 33.33% total vote points
  3. Conacher: 1 first place vote,4.63% total vote points

Nobody else had a first place vote.

Verdict:

Barely Controversial?

1948 – Buddy O’Connor, C, Rangers (4th by points, 5th by SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG: Elmer Lach (1.02 PPG, 61P, 7.5 PS)
  • Art Ross: Elmer Lach
  • MVS by PS:  Elmer Lach
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Buddy O’Connor (6.3 PS, 60P)
  • MVF by OPS: Elmer Lach
  • MVD by PS: Jimmy Thomson (6.4 PS, 29P)
  • MVD by DPS: Jimmy Thomson 
  • MVG: Turk Broda (13.2 PS, 32-15-13, 2.38 GAA, 5 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Maple Leafs)
    • by Points: Syl Apps (53P, 6.3 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Jimmy Thomson
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Black Hawks)
    • by Points: Doug Bentley (57P, 5.2 PS)
    • by OPS: Gaye Stewart (5.9 PS, 55P)
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Maple Leafs)
    • by PS: Jimmy Thomson
    • by DPS: Jimmy Thomson
    • by GPS: Turk Broda
  • Vezina: Turk Broda

Another time the voters suddenly decided to make the MVP the player most necessary to make the playoffs. (Probably because Lach’s team missed the playoffs.

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
Bentley, DBlack Hawks60203757225.20.330.620.950.370.09No
LachCanadiens60303161287.50.500.521.020.470.133rd
LindsayRed Wings603319522670.550.320.870.430.12No
O’ConnorRangers60243660256.30.400.601.000.420.11Yes

Voting:

  1. O’Connor: 10 first place votes, 80% total vote points
  2. Frank Brimsek: 2 first place votes, 40% total vote points
  3. Lach: 1 first place vote, 28.89% total vote points
  4. Max Bentley: 2 first place votes, 22.22% total vote points

Verdict:

Controversial

1947 – Maurice Richard, RW, Canadiens (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Max Bentley (1.2 PPG, 72P, 6.9 PS)
  • Art Ross: Max Bentley
  • MVS by PS:  Maurice Richard (9.7 PS, 71P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Roy Conacher (5.9 PS, 54P)
  • MVF by OPS: Maurice Richard
  • MVD by PS: Ken Reardon (6.3 PS, 22P)
  • MVD by DPS: Butch Bouchard (5.9 PS, 12P)
  • MVG: Bill Durnan (14.7 PS, 34-16-10, 2.3 GAA, 4 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Maurice Richard
    • by MVS by PS: Maurice Richard
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Maple Leafs)
    • by Points: Ted Kennedy (60P, 6.7 PS)
    • by OPS: Ted Kennedy
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by PS: Maurice Richard
    • by DPS: Butch Bouchard
    • by GPS: Bill Durnan
  • Vezina: Bill Durnan

Most valuable player on the best team. Seems fair.

Voting:

  1. Richard: 12 first place votes, 88.89% total vote points
  2. Milt Schmidt: 4 first place votes, 51.85% total vote points
  3. Bentley: 2 first place votes, 22.22% total vote points
  4. Turk Broda: 12.96% total vote points
  5. Chuck Rayner: 12.96% total vote points

Verdict:

Good!

1946 – Max Bentley, C, Blackhawks (3rd in points, 2nd in SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG: Max Bentley (1.3 PPG, 61P, 6.7 PS)
  • Art Ross: Max Bentley
  • MVS by PS:  Max Bentley
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Bill Quackenbush (5.6 PS, 22P)
  • MVF by OPS: Max Bentley
  • MVD by PS: Glen Harmon (5.7 PS, 17P)
  • MVD by DPS: Glen Harmon
  • MVG: Bill Durnan (9.2 PS, 24-11-5, 2.6 GAA, 4 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Toe Blake (50P, 6 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Toe Blake
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Hawks)
    • by Points: Max Bentley
    • by OPS: Max Bentley
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by PS: Toe Blake
    • by DPS: Glen Harmon
    • by GPS: Bill Durnan
  • Vezina: Bill Durnan

Best offensive player on the best offensive team. Seems reasonable.

Voting:

  1. Bentley: 29.61%
  2. Gaye Stewart: 24.86%
  3. Durnan: 19.55%
  4. Harry Lumley: 14.53%
  5. Jack Stewart: 11.45%

Verdict:

Uncontroversial

1945 – Elmer Lach, C, Canadiens (1st)

  • Best Player by PPG: Elmer Lach (1.6 PPG, 80P, 7.7 PS)
  • Art Ross: Elmer Lach
  • MVS by PS:  Maurice Richard (9.2 PS, 73P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Bill Cowley (5.6 PS, 65P)
  • MVF by OPS: Maurice Richard
  • MVD by PS: Flash Hollett (8.4 PS, 41P)
  • MVD by DPS: Butch Bouchard (8.2 PS, 34P)
  • MVG: Bill Durnan (13.2 PS, 38-8-4, 2.42 GAA, 1 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Elmer Lach
    • by MVS by PS: Maurice Richard
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Elmer Lach
    • by OPS: Maurice Richard
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by PS: Maurice Richard
    • by DPS: Butch Bouchard
    • by GPS: Bill Durnan
  • Vezina: Bill Durnan

Voting:

  1. Lach: 32.04%
  2. Richard: 21.82%
  3. Cowley: 17.96%
  4. Flash Hollett: 14..92%
  5. Syd Howe: 13.26%

Easy one.

Verdict:

Good!

1944 – Babe Pratt, D, Maple Leafs (3rd by points, 2nd by SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG: Bill Cowley (1.97 PPG, 71P, 5.5 PS)
  • Art Ross: Herb Cain (82P, 6.1 PS) [Record by 9 points]
  • MVS by PS: Babe Pratt (8.7 PS, 58P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Babe Pratt (Team would tie for last playoff spot)
  • MVF by PS: 
    • Lorne Carr (6.4 PS, 74P)
    • Carl Liscombe (6.4 PS, 73P)
  • MVF by OPS: Herb Cain
  • MVD by DPS: Leo Lamoureux (7.6 PS, 31P)
  • MVG: Bill Durnan (15 PS, 38-5-7, 2.18 GAA, 2 SO) [GPS record]
  • Best Player on Best Team (Canadiens [record])
    • by Points: Elmer Lach (72P, 5.6 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Leo Lamoureux
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by Points: Elmer Lach
    • by OPS: Elmer Lach
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Canadiens)
    • by PS: Leo Lamoureux
    • by DPS: Leo Lamoureux
    • by GPS: Bill Durnan
  • Vezina: Bill Durnan

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGamesGoalsAssistsPointsGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
Bentley, DBlack Hawks50383977326.30.760.781.540.640.133rd
BruneteauRed Wings39351853275.20.900.461.360.690.13No
CainBruins49364682346.10.730.941.670.690.12No
CarrMaple Leafs50363874336.40.720.761.480.660.135th
CowleyBruins36304171295.50.831.141.970.810.152nd
LachCanadiens48244872275.60.501.001.500.560.12No
LiscombeRed Wings50363773336.40.720.741.460.660.13No
PrattMaple Leafs50174158228.70.340.821.160.440.17Yes
Smith, CBlack Hawks50234972274.90.460.981.440.540.10No

Voting:

  1. Pratt: 26.93%
  2. Cowley: 26.01%
  3. Doug Bentley: 17.03%
  4. Earl Siebert: 16.1%
  5. Lorne Carr: 13.93%

We guess the Habs were too good so the writers decided they had to give it to someone on a different team? Pratt destroyed the single season record for points by a defenseman so we guess that was the logic here.

Verdict:

At least a little controversial

1943 – Bill Cowley (2nd), C, Bruins (2nd by points, 3rd by SRS)

  • Best Player by PPG: Bill Cowley (1.5 PPG, 72P, 6.3 PS)
  • Art Ross: Doug Bentley (73P, 1.46 PPG, 6.3 PS)
  • MVS by PS: Flash Hollett 7.8 PS, 44P)
  • MVS by PS factoring in playoffs: Flash Hollett* (would tie for the last spot)
  • MVF by PS: 
    • Bill Cowley
    • Doug Bentley
  • MVF by OPS: Doug Bentley
  • MVD by DPS: Alex Motter (5.7 PS, 10P)
  • MVG: Johnny Mowers (12.8 PS, 25-14-11, 2.47 GAA, 6 SO)
  • Best Player on Best Team (Red Wings)
    • by Points: Syd Howe (55P, 4.8 PS)
    • by MVS by PS: Alex Motter
  • Best Player on Best Offensive Team (Maple Leafs)
    • by Points
      • Lorne Carr (60P 5.2 PS)
      • Billy Taylor (60P, 4.4 PS)
    • by OPS: Lorne Carr
  • Best Player on Best Defensive Team (Red Wings)
    • by PS: Alex Motter
    • by DPS: Alex Motter
    • by GPS: Johnny Mowers
  • Vezina: Johnny Mowers

This is one of those toss-up years so we think it’s fine to give it to the best offensive player on the 2nd best team.

Best Player Race

PlayerTeamGPGAPGCPSGPGAPGPPGGCPGPSPGHart
AppsMaple Leafs292317401840.790.591.380.620.143rd
Bentley, DBlack Hawks50334073306.30.660.801.460.600.132nd
Bentley, MBlack Hawks47264470275.60.550.941.490.570.12No
CowleyBruins48274572296.30.560.941.500.600.13Yes
HollettBruins50192544187.80.380.500.880.360.16No

Voting:

  1. Cowley: 32.08%
  2. Doug Bentley: 22.87%
  3. Syl Apps: 15.7%
  4. Howe: 15.7%
  5. Frank Brimsek: 13.65%

Verdict:

Fine

2 thoughts on “Reevaluating the Hart Part 3: Original Six Hart Trophies”

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