Does this this signal the end of "The Eastern Bias" in the NHL? At the very least we can hopefully not talk about it for a while. But, maybe, just maybe, that’s just what the NHL wants. The Hart Trophy for Henrik was just a nice little token to appease and distract Canuck fans while they surreptitiously engineer a league that only has American teams come out on top.
"Just give them the stupid Hart so they won’t notice that we use their games to redefine kicking motions" cackled Gary Bettman from deep inside his New York enclave. (Or at least that’s how I imagine it)
I’ll now gently remove my tongue from my cheek, lest I be accused of joining the tin-foil hat brigade of Canuck fans garnering a well worn reputation of believing in conspiracies that are supposedly keeping Johnny Canuck down.
That said, things were easier in the 80’s.
Wayne Gretzky was the unquestioned best player and he was bestowed the Hart from on high, and until Mario Lemieux came around, there was little or no argument about the fact. The Gods of Hockey decided these awards and no one had to even consider bias because, well, it was never really up for debate.
Now with more teams in far flung places, and journalists really only seeing their local team for any significant amount of time, there’s no wonder we’re seeing some wacky decisions in the voting process. Three guesses where the vote came from that labeled Craig Anderson the MVP of this last year.
Staying on the MVP trail, I’m willing to bet someone form a city starting with W and ending in ashington thought Mike Green was the 4th most valuable player this year. Now, don’t be getting to smug Canuck fans, I’m sure no one outside of our city limits could have thought Christian Erhoff was the second best defenseman in the entire NHL.
Still, let’s enjoy it for what it is without forgetting what it isn’t. Hell, it’s the first time in 40 years a Canucks can lay claim to the Hart and Art Ross, something would’ve pleased a childhood Me to no end.