If you were a fan of the Canucks before the lockout, you may be surprised at how many of us fans are clamouring for Daniel Sedin to win the Hart Trophy, knowing how many of the radio call-in regulars tried to send them out of town at the end of the Brian Burke regime.
Henrik Sedin won the Hart and Art Ross double last year, thanks in part to ten games missed by Alexander Ovechkin, and Daniel Sedin finds himself at the top of the scoring table because of Dave Steckel's errant shoulder at the Winter Classic. Daniel finds himself six points up with three games to play.
However, Jonathan Willis makes a compelling point over at The Score as to why Daniel probably doesn't deserve the Hart Trophy. The Sedins have been protected in the lineup this season thanks to the defensive prowess of Manny Malhotra and Ryan Kesler, which has given head coach Alain Vigneault increased flexibility.
A comment on that post, possibly from our very own Beantown Canuck, points out that Corey Perry has the advantage, scoring-wise, in playing far more minutes than the Sedins. If you compare Daniel and Perry individually, Daniel scores just .02 more goals per 60 minutes at even strength than his rival, a not huge number when you consider that Perry does play the tougher minutes.
Does Daniel Sedin deserve the Hart Trophy? My own thought is no, because I do believe in the 'most valuable' aspect of the award. The Canucks would still be a .500 team without either Sedin in the lineup. I certainly wouldn't be averse to him winning, although it is quite moot either way. By the way, if Daniel wins it this year, can you name the last teammates to win the Hart Trophy in back to back years? It was Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito, back in 1969/1970.