Hart Memorial Trophy Race Missing Two Names

Tim MorganContributor IApril 7, 2010

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 30:  Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers tends net against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on March 30, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The definition of the Hart Trophy (MVP) is the player most valuable to his team. Recently in sports the MVP trophies have gone to the best player in the league and not always the player like A-Rod in 2003 with the Texas Rangers. Different sport different story. But if you go by that definition of MVP, most valuable to his team, then Ranger's sniper Marian Gaborik and goalie Henrik Lundqvist should be in the conversation for the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Now neither one of them are going to win the Hart, but there names should be in the conversation. But take Marian Gaborik off the Rangers, say he got hurt or was not on the team. Same thing for King Henrik. Think about where the New York Rangers would be without them.

First, Gaborik, if you take the Slovak sniper's presence, goal scoring, and play making away from the Rangers this year then the Blue shirts would probably be near the bottom of the conference. On the year he has 41 goals and 83 points. That leads the Rangers by almost 30 points. It is obvious that their offense runs through him and he is their first, second, and third option. The Rangers have struggled to score all year, scoring 212 goals on the year. Without the speedy Gaborik the Rangers would have no scoring at all. He also works great on their already abysmal power play, scoring 14 power play goals, the only Ranger in double digit power play goals.

Lundqvist, referred to in New York as King Henrik, is the backbone of the Rangers. The Rangers rely on Henrik every single night, game in and game out. With the Rangers lack of scoring and a youthful, inconsistent blue line, Lundqvist is pressured every night to be almost perfect. He has played 70 games and his 33-27 record should be a lot better than it is. He has a 2.42 GAA and a .919 save percentage, pretty good numbers for the Swedish net minder. Without Lundqvist the Rangers would be no where, his value to the Rangers needs no description. Since the lockout there has not be a more valuable person to the Rangers than King Henrik. 

The Hart Memorial trophy will not go to either of these players. But they should at least be in the conversation. They deserve that. 

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