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Canucks fans voted JT Miller as team MVP, but did Quinn Hughes deserve it?

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jagraj Lalli
1 month ago
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On Tuesday night, the Vancouver Canucks held their annual awards ceremony for the 2023-24 season, honouring standout performances and notable contributions. While many anticipated winners were celebrated, the evening took an unexpected turn when JT Miller clinched the Cyclone Taylor Trophy for the team’s most valuable player. However, amidst the applause for Miller’s achievements, questions lingered over whether the expected top choice for the Norris trophy, Quinn Hughes, was overlooked for the title.
Miller’s triumph in securing the Cyclone Taylor Trophy came as no surprise to Canucks fans. With an impressive stat line of 37 goals, 66 assists, and 103 points, his impact on the team’s performance was undeniable. Not only did he lead the team in scoring, but his leadership and intensity on the ice made him a fan favourite and winning the fan vote further solidified his status as a beloved figure among Canucks supporters. As one of the team’s alternate captains, Miller’s presence in the locker room and on the bench has been instrumental in rallying his teammates and creating that winning mentality. His work ethic and determination served as a model for younger players like Nils Hoglander, who has been on a surge on his own and his veteran experience brings a sense of composure and confidence to the team in high-pressure situations. 
While Miller’s accolades are well-deserved, the decision to overlook Quinn Hughes for the MVP title raised many eyebrows. As the newly appointed captain of the Canucks, Hughes has been instrumental in reshaping the team’s identity and fostering a winning culture. 
Hughes is on the verge of making Canucks history, as with just one more assist, he will tie Henrik Sedin for the second-most assists in a single season in franchise history. Sedin’s record of 83 assists in 2009-10 and 75 assists in 2010-11 have long been considered untouchable, but Hughes’ remarkable performance this season has put him within striking distance of many milestones. From his defensive presence to elite playmaking, he has been the anchor of this rejuvenated Canucks’ offence this season. After eclipsing the 70-point mark in February, Hughes now is tied for 3rd for most 70+ point seasons recorded before a player’s 25th birthday in Canucks franchise history. For instance, in a game against the Arizona Coyotes, Hughes skated laps around all Arizona defenders and his initial shot helped set up a rebound and crucial goal for teammate Conor Garland, giving the Canucks the lead late in the 3rd. His consistency on the ice has earned him praise from teammates like Garland, who discussed Hughes’ unwavering dedication to the game and continual pursuit of improvement after the win earlier this month.
“He’s unbelievable, whenever he plays, the ice is tilted in our favour. And the scary thing — and I know him pretty well and how hard and how serious he takes his game — he’s going to keep getting better. He’s always thinking about hockey, always looking at ways to get better.”
Hughes’ impact transcends statistics. Beyond his impressive point totals, his consistent performances and ability to elevate the play of those around him make him continue to prove why he is such a valuable asset to the team. Furthermore, his leadership as captain has been instrumental in guiding the Canucks to their first division title since 2012-13 and their first playoff berth since 2019-20.
Hughes’ significant impact on the team calls into question the decision to award Miller the trophy. While fan input likely influenced Miller’s win, it’s crucial to consider the criteria for the selection. Hughes’ consistent performance, leadership, and overall influence on the ice make him the obvious choice for MVP. While nothing can be changed now, it begs the question: Is it time to change the voting process? 
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