Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins took home the 2011-12 Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player, an award that was well deserved as Malkin carried the team in a year heavily defined by the absence of captain and superstar Sidney Crosby.
Some fans, both in Philadelphia and league wide, felt that the fact that Philly’s Claude Giroux was not even nominated for the trophy was a major snub.
Giroux finished third in points and second in assists and carried the Philadelphia Flyers to the playoffs despite the fact that the team had traded away its former captain and top scorer in the offseason and lost its current captain to injury last autumn. Giroux’s role as a breakout star and central figure in Philly was established last season, yet the NHL failed to recognize him come the NHL Awards.
While 2011-12 did not see Giroux honored as he deserved, the Flyers’ center is almost certainly the frontrunner for the Hart Trophy in 2012-13.