Is Mats Sundin in Contention for a Hart ?

Peter BojarinovAnalyst IMarch 17, 2008

Mats Sundin has shown throughout his NHL career what is it to be a leader, an all-star and an MVP of an NHL team. This year he's gone beyond that and shown what it is to be an MVP of the NHL.

He has lead the team in every vital category, from goals, points, to plus/minus. He's been a rare leader and point producer on a team with very few if not none of those type of players.

Ovechkin has Mike Green, the best defenseman in scoring. A playmaker and all rookie linemate that of Nicklas Backstrom. Malkin has of course had Crosby, and the rest of his team. Iginla has had the underrated Huselius, and great defensive support from Phanuef. He is and has been in the top 10 in points this year NHL season.

Sundin has been a top player since joining the Maple Leafs from his first season, and hasn't had any support in the offense almost since then, if you can maybe consider Alexander Mogilny for a short season and a half. He's been the MVP on this team for as long as I know, and this year has been another year he's proven it.

Almost from the start of the season, during every rut and grind in the season, he's said that he is with this team no matter what. Since right before the trade deadline he's said that they are not out of it, and has stood tall and thrown his team on his broad shoulders to hardworking wins, a 9-3-1 record.

He has publicly come out and said "I have always believed I would finish my career as a Toronto Maple Leaf so the actual request was still a very difficult one for me to contemplate...I have spoken to and listened to my family and those closest to me about this issue. In the end, there is no right decision in a situation like this one. I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL Club at this time. I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June. I hope everyone will understand and respect my decision."

If this isn't an MVP, I don't know who is.

He deserves to be at least nominated for the Hart Trophy. If he is not nominated, he should still accept the Mark Messier Leadership award for; the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.