Sundin for Hart?
Mats Sundin is the most valuable National Hockey League player to his team. The Penguins wouldn’t be that far off pace had they taken Bobby Ryan instead of Sidney Crosby, they would certainly be off it, but not to a huge degree. The Toronto Maple Leafs would be nowhere near where they were if Mats Sundin were replaced by anyone.
He means everything to the team, he’s been the face of the team since the Doug Gilmour trade nearly ten years ago. If the Toronto Maple Leafs make the playoffs, there is one man to blame, and his name is Mats Sundin.
Mats Sundin may only be 2oth in points per game, but he plays on a much worse team than all but five of them. Those five are all at least on offensively gifted teams. Martin St Louis and Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and Martin Havlat of the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are built around Mats Sundin. The fact that they’re in a playoff spot alone should give Sundin the Hart trophy, but considering the injuries so far to Tucker, Peca, Colaiacovo, Wellwood, Ponikarovsky, and Antropov so far, the collapse of Alex Steen, the even weaker goal tending than many believed, and the lack of offensive output from Matt Stajan and Chad Kilger, Sundin has led this team, and deserves the MVP more than anyone in the league.
My runners up would be Rod Brind’Amour and Jarome Iginla. Both bring more to a team than just about anyone in the league. Three fantastic captains get the Hart nomination, and that’s the way it should be.