The NHL has announced the three finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy, which is given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.” Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read was deserving of a nomination but, apparently, is just too old to be Rookie of the Year.
Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Henrique are the nominees for the 2011-12 season. All three players are deserving of nomination, but Read is just as deserving.
Read led all rookies in goal scoring with a regular season total of 24 goals. Read was behind the three nominees in total points, but that was due to his lower assist numbers.
Read scored a lot of goals for the Flyers, and, more importantly, he scored significant goals. Read led all rookies with six game-winning goals and was second among rookies with two shorthanded goals.
Looking at stats that are beyond scoring shows that Read has an advantage over some of the other rookies.
Plus/minus is an important stat. It shows more than just a player’s ability to score; it shows how well-rounded the player is. Read was second among rookies with a plus-13 rating.
Read is much older than the players who were nominated. Landeskog is 19 years old, Nugent-Hopkins is 19 years old and Henrique is 22 years old. At 25 years old, Read is the old man of the group.
The NHL is getting younger every year. At 25 years old, Read is the same age as some players who have been established stars for several years.
Read also plays on the third line for a Flyers team that is full of rookies. It is hard to find the spotlight when there are several other rookies on the team also making significant contributions. Not only did other rookies make it hard to be noticed, but the Flyers have big name players on their top lines who also take away some of that attention.
Read may have missed out on a Calder Memorial Trophy nomination, but that is the least of his worries. Read is currently focused on the Flyers' playoff run.
Read will for sure end his season without his name on the Calder Memorial Trophy, but that does not discredit the valuable contribution he has made to the Philadelphia Flyers.
It is very possible that Read could end the season with his name etched forever on the Stanley Cup. If the Flyers can win the Stanley Cup, Rookie of the Year will seem trivial.
Read might have been too old to be a Rookie of the Year nominee, but his valuable contributions have been noticed by the Philadelphia Flyers organization and the fans.