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Former Canuck Kevin Bieksa wants Quinn Hughes to get Hart Trophy attention

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
The Hart Trophy debate has been picking up steam the past few weeks as the regular season winds down. There are plenty of deserving candidates to choose from, but former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa thinks Quinn Hughes deserves to be in the conversation too.
“Let’s throw Quinn Hughes’ name into the mix for, we’re not doing Hart yet are we? So for the Hart, just for Quinn Hughes, some may be like, ‘Oh Vancouver, he likes Vancouver.’
“No, [a career] minus nine coming into this season, he’s plus 40 this year. He has 91 points. He had the captaincy thrusted onto him. That team has been leading their division for the majority of the season. They weren’t even supposed to make the playoffs. How do you not argue this guy’s not the most important guy to his team?”
While it won’t be easy for him to take home the Hart, Bieksa isn’t wrong in saying Hughes has had a phenomenal season to this point.
Going into tonight’s game against the Oilers, he has 91 points (17 goals and 74 assists) that currently have him at the top of the NHL for scoring leaders among defencemen (four ahead of Cale Makar) and is second on the Canucks in scoring behind only JT Miller. Those offensive numbers have not only smashed his previous career high of 76 from a season ago but he is still right in the middle of his prime and is bound to see those numbers skyrocket even more. All of this while in the midst of his first season as team captain and signed to a reasonable cap hit of $7.85 million for the next three seasons.
Hughes definitely has a strong case to take home the first Norris Trophy, but also snatching the Hart Trophy would be something else entirely. He has definitely seen a lot of growth in areas outside of offence. He has been a major factor in the Canucks’ dramatic turnaround from basement dwellers to leading the Pacific Division in a calendar year. Still, the Hart Trophy typically goes to the leading point scorer, and he is 50 points back of Nikita Kucherov at the time of writing.
The Hart Trophy has historically gone to forwards and occasionally goaltenders. The last time a defenceman won the Hart was Chris Pronger back in the 1999-2000 season and before that was Bobby Orr for a three year stretch between 1970 and 1972. To put it simply, it would be a major upset for Hughes to win the Hart Trophy this season.
Hughes has no doubt been exceptional this season and will take home some hardware by year’s end, but it very likely won’t involve him getting his hands on the Hart Trophy. At the very least, Hughes has got Bieksa’s vote.

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