Should Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews win the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player?
The leading single season scorer in Toronto Maple Leafs history definitely has a strong case for winning his first Hart Trophy this season. If Matthews hits 60 goals, there is a good chance that he will be the first Leaf since Ted Kennedy in 1955 to bring home the Hart Trophy.
There is precedent for a 60-goal scorer winning the Hart. Alex Ovechkin did it back in the 2007-08 season when he scored 65 goals. The only other 60-goal season of the 21st century, Steven Stamkos in 2011-12, came in 2nd in Hart voting that year. Why? Evgeni Malkin scored 50 while Sidney Crosby was out with a concussion. Any other season and Stamkos wins the Hart.
But it’s not a big deal if Auston Matthews doesn’t win MVP. There are multiple other players who deserve it, of course, but there is one I have in mind that should be the favorite.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Roman Josi vs Auston Matthews
The last defenseman to win the Hart was Chris Pronger back in the 1999-2000 season. So, it’s been awhile.
Roman Josi has been just that good this season. The 2019-20 Norris Trophy winner will probably add another one to his mantle. But he might get the Hart as well.
If Josi hits 100 points, something that a defenseman hasn’t done since Brian Leetch, he should get the Hart. Josi currently has 89 points with six games left on the schedule. He can absolutely do it. If not, he’ll be very close.
As long as the Hart goes to the most “valuable” player, supporting cast should be considered.
While Josi has Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg, neither of them are on the tier of a Marner a Draisaitl or a Tkachuk. Josi doesn’t have a genuine star to rely on like Matthews and Johnny Gaudreau do. Duchene and Forsberg are also the only other players on Nashville that average more than a point per game.
Health and availability also play a factor. Roman Josi has missed two games all season. Auston Matthews has missed seven.
There’s a bunch of guys who deserve it and at least two deserving players are going to be left off of the nominees entirely, but Roman Josi should win it.
It will definitely be an interesting vote, and if Auston Matthews does win it, I suppose Toronto Maple Leafs fans will have to live with that.