Welcome to our series on the NHL’s Hart Trophy, its MVP award.
The MVP trophy is the most important trophy for any league; for better or worse it is how we determine who was the “best” player and, when we look at league history, it’s one way we use to judge players against each other, and, ultimately, it’s part of how we decide whether or not someone belongs in the greatness canon (whether that is the Hall of Fame or something else).
By some metrics, Ulf Nilsson was the Greatest Player, or at least Greatest Forward, in WHA history. (APG and PPG, specifically.) But when he moved to the NHL he saw his numbers plummet and his career fall apart due to injuries.
In this episode we discuss whether or not Ulf Nilsson did enough in the WHA for us to say he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Guy Carbonneau was inducted in 2019. His induction is virtually unprecedented as Carbonneau has probably the worst offensive stats of any forward inducted to the HOF to have played since the league expanded in 1968. (Bob Gainey would be the only other forward in the Hall with comparable offensive numbers.)
Of course, Carbonneau is not in because of his offense. He’s in because of his three Selke trophies and numerous Top 5 Selke voting finishes.
So, does he belong? And what kind of precedent does he set for the Hall of Fame going forward? Listen to us talk about him here:
It might seem like a silly question. However, as if this writing, Jere Lehtinen is the only eligible player with at least three Selke trophies not in the Hall of Fame. (If Datsyuk doesn’t get in once he’s eligible, there will be two.)
In this episode we discuss Lehtinen’s case in light of Guy Carbonneau’s induction in 2019.