The Hart Trophy has got to be one of the more controversial trophies that is awarded, as there is a rift between having it as the league's most valuable player, rather it's literal explanation of the player being most valuable to his team. The nominees always seem to be the league MVP, which always causes a stir, but you never find out why the writers vote the way that they do. You would have to think that a lot of them vote one way rather than the other. Boggles my mind.
For the list of nominees, it'll go by the favourite sorting method of pool points. This doesn't mean this is the way I prioritize the nominees at all.
The pool MVP this season, Evgeni Malkin, finished the year with 113 points, leading all scorers and pool players. He got another nod for the Hart Trophy this year for his efforts, but the real mark of the Hart Trophy would be how valuable he was to the Penguins. So, to figure out how much more valuable points-wise he was to his next teammate, we'll do some simple math with pool points. Second on the Penguins in pool points was Sidney Crosby, who finished with 103 points... which leaves a difference of 10 points. Let's see how this compares with the other two nominees.
Second on the list of pool points on the nominee list is Alex Ovechkin, who finished with 110 points. Ovechkin is the current Hart Trophy holder, where he beat Malkin in votes last year as well. His next-in-line teammate in Washington in 2009 was Nicklas Backstrom, who finished with 88 points. That leaves a difference of 22 points, which is 12 points greater than the Pittsburgh duo, thus possibly making Ovechkin more valuable? There is still one more to look at.
The third nominee comes from Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk. He finished fifth in pool scoring with 97 points and he also earned a Selke Trophy nod for being the best defensive forward in the league as well. A very impressive resume, but let's also see what his difference was this season. Second in Detroit in pool points was Henrik Zetterberg, who finished with 73 points. A difference of 24 points in 2009, which is the biggest of the three nominees and he has defensive honours as well. This almost looks too academic.