Who is the Early Season MVP

So far we are past the ½ way mark of the season, and a lot of players of come out of nowhere and put up huge numbers. Others have just kept up the pace they were going at before the lockout. And others have more or less, resurrected their careers. But who is the early season MVP?So far we are past the ½ way mark of the season, and a lot of players of come out of nowhere and put up huge numbers. Others have just kept up the pace they were going at before the lockout. And others have more or less, resurrected their careers. But who is the early season MVP?

Jagr: Has had a monster season thus far. The Rangers go as he does. 72 points to this point, and the Rangers are in the hunt for the Division title. And with Foresberg out, they might have an opportunity to over take them. No one expected the season from Jagr that he’s having, let alone the season the Rangers are.

Kippersoff: Not a chance Calgary would be in the hunt for the conference without this guy. He has been their backbone for the last 2 seasons, and every game he shows flashes of brilliance, the rest of the game, he’s just as solid as any goalie in the league.

Kovulchuk: Missed the first 3 games of the season because of a contract dispute, but that didn’t slow him down one bit! He leading the league with 35 goals, and 3rd in points. Only knock against this guy is he couldn’t locate his own zone on a map.

Staal: Where did he come from? We all know that he was the biggest shock of the year, and he’s still going. Clearly the MVP on the Eastern Conference leading Cans, is he the MVP of the league too? Kills penalties as well.

Mccabe: You have to consider him. Leading all defense in points still, even after being out 2 plus weeks. Seems the Leafs are lost without him, like a lot of team without their leader. (Ottawa, Philly). On the PP, the best one-timer in the league! He also kills on the PK.

Alfredson: 2nd in league scoring, 4th in goals, and the captain of the most talented team in the league. The 4 games he was out of the Sens lineup, they were lost, they have had Spezza, Redden, and Havlat out for long periods of time, but they still looked like a great team. Without Alfi they were average at best, or so it seemed. He’s my pic thus far to take home the Heart, all things considered. Could be one of the best penalty killers in the league as well with 4 short-handed goals.

All if this is up for debate obviously, but that’s how I see things.

93 Responses to Who is the Early Season MVP

  1. jarcpitre says:

    First of all don’t get me wrong, i’m a Leaf fan and I don’t believe that McCabe is an MVP canidate either. He is the MVP of Toronto so far this year for sure. But some of the guys putting McCabe down saying he can’t play defence, his shot sucks, and others are much better. I had a little time on my hands so I figured I would defend him a little to prove the critiques wrong. Lets face like everyone says the stats speak for themselves, right! So here we go, I am going to put down some stats that will probably shock all the so called hockey experts. Lets pick everyone’s top defenceman in +/- on each team, I will include their points as well, and to go further rate all the teams number 1 goalie and team rank in goals against, which definetly has a lot to do with +/- , Agree! I won’t even include how much ice time each player gets, we all know that McCabe plays a lot of minutes. Anyway let it roll!

    Player Team +/- Points Goalie Rank

    Salei Ana +16 15 Giguere 7

    Exelby Atl +7 10 Garnett 25

    Gill Bos +4 5 Raycroff 19

    Lydman Buf +13 11 Biron 9

    Leopold Cal +13 9 Kiprusoff 2

    Karberle Car +9 30 Gerber 17

    Seabrook Chi +11 17 Khabibulin 24

    Vaananen Col +9 4 Aebischer 21

    Hainsey Clb 0 9 Denis 27

    Boucher Dal +19 28 Turco 6

    Lilja Det +13 7 Legace 5

    Staios Edm +10 19 Markkanen 16

    Van Ryan Fla +10 21 Luongo 15

    Visnovsky La +12 48 Garon 20

    Mitchell Min +14 6 Fernandez 3

    Markov Mon +2 30 Theodore 22

    Markov.d Nas +7 10 Vokoun 11

    Mathicvuk Nj +4 10 Brodeur 10

    Zhitnik Nyi -2 24 DiPietro 26

    Rozival Nyr +21 15 Lundqvist 4

    Meszaros Ott +33 21 Hasek 1

    Pitkanen Phi +18 23 Niittymaki 14

    Michalek Pho +7 14 Joseph 18

    Melichar Pit -4 7 Fleury 30

    Preissing Sj +12 20 Nabokov 12

    Dallman Stl -2 7 Sanford 28

    Sarich/Pratt Tb +8 8 Grahame 8

    McCabe Tor +5 49 Belfour 23

    Baumgartner Van +9 25 Auld 13

    So that is it folks, I bet there are a lot of surprise names up there. Can you count how many are Canadian? When it come to +/-, if the point total is high then usually the +/- is low, unless you play for Ottawa. When it does come down to the crunch, McCabe’s numbers are pretty good for playing for a bad defensive team, and with the team ranking a low 23rd in goals gainst. Another stat to throw in, is McCabe is a +68 since being with the leafs. So McCabe bashers and all you so called hockey experts, come up with some legitimate shit before you open your mouths, most of you do even know how silly your comments are. Really!

    Go Leafs Go!

    McCabe for Norris hands down!

  2. Neely4Life says:

    carolina’s division is so weak though. There really isnt any contender except Carolina right now, maybe tampa if they can get their shit together.

  3. Neely4Life says:

    MVP is most valuable player to their team, and without a doubt, Mccabe is the most valuable player to the Leafs. Foresberg, how can u be the MVP when ur out 1/2 the season?

  4. jarcpitre says:

    Man, those are all has beens. Read my article down the line. The only ones I like on your list are Chara and Pronger, they will get some consideration. Redden, Visnovsky, and McCabe have way better stats.

  5. wingerxxx says:

    Yeah..I’d put Peter in front of a number of the names on the above list. Definitely over Kovalchuk and Alfredsson.

  6. wingerxxx says:

    The problem with putting McCabe up for the MVP is that part of winning the Hart Trophy is playing on a consistently winning team. A big part of the award is a being a player who makes his team that much better.

    Even before McCabe went down with his injury, the Leafs weren’t exactly tearing up the league. And all of the games he is missing is not helping his cause either. It’s very hard to justify giving the award to a defenseman who plays 70 or so games (maybe less) for a team that is clawing and scraping to make the playoffs. If he plays under 70 games, I think his chances of winning the Norris are in very serious jeapordy. That is the award he has the best shot at. But he has to get healthy.

  7. neilios says:

    MVP and Rocket-Kovalchuk(the best player in the NHL)


    Art Ross-Jagr




  8. Gretzkin says:







  9. Neely4Life says:

    I totally agree, it was more or less not to piss off leaf fans, cuz we would never hear the end of it hahaha.

  10. Neely4Life says:












    Conn Smyth/Heatley

  11. Gretzkin says:

    Having the most Penalty minutes wouldn’t help anybodies chances at winning a Norris trophy, I’m afraid.

    The object of playing Defense, and being a great Defenseman, is to cut down on offensive opportunity through strong play.

    Now, Chara is an awesome defenseman, but with all of those penalties, he’s given away 52 power plays (probably less, I’m not counting majors).

    That’s not good Defense.

    You’re saying it yourself. Pronger is more responsible to his team by having way less Penalty minutes.

    I think it would be a good fight between those two.

    I would go with Chara, as he has a competitive wrestling background. But the size match up would make it quite a nice tilt.

    Keep in mind that Fighting has nothing to do with playing defense. I don’t think the powers that be would hand the Norris to Chara, because they think he would win a fight that never happened. I think they look at other, more relevant facts.

  12. Neely4Life says:

    Well, only player i can think of that has scored as much from the point this year is Alfi, ahahaha, Kovulchuk too maybe.

  13. Gretzkin says:

    Hats off for taking the time to go through all of those stats.

    I think somebody should have told you that simply by putting up the +/- and the Goalie ranking does not spell out who should win the Norris Trophy.

    There are 4 other guys on the ice, at most times.

    In the case of the Leafs, Belfour has had some rough patches this year, to say the least. But his low ranking is more a Testament to the players who have hung him out to dry.

    McCabe being one of them.

    Hands Down is a pretty strong statement, when the whole thing is really up for debate between probably 10 guys.

    The only thing McCabe has that is better than the others, are the points. Which, as you may know, happen at the other end of the ice.

    His points have been gift wrapped to him through the Maple Leaf PP Strategy.

    I would be very surprised if McCabe wins the Norris ever.

    He just doesn’t have the Defensive skills to be mentioned with the elite defenseman such as Lidstrom, Pronger, Chara, Redden…

    Even on Toronto, I would say that Kaberle is their Defensive MVP.

  14. nova_scotia123 says:

    I think the guys mentioned for the most part deserve the mention. Don’t agree at all with McCabe but not even going to get into that. When you consider an MVP, you have to think about how a team would fair without them. In saying that here is the list I would consider at this time.(in no particular order)

    Kovulchuk – best pure goal scorer in the league

    Jagr – looks like he is back in his Pittsburgh glory days

    Kippersoff – bails Calagry out when they need it. (Not Iggy)

    Forsberg – injury is the only thing holding him back

    Thornton – Marleau would probley give his vote if he could vote

    Brodeur – has helped turn NJ arround and making them a contender again. Really how good would they be without him?

    Kayria – Nashville has turned it up a notch this year having him around

    Brindamour – Stall is doing great but I think Brindamour is a bir reason for what is going on in Carolina. He has 20+ goals now.

    Gerber – Gerber is putting up some good early stats.

    Redden – Ottawa needs this guy to be successful

    Ovechkin – won’t be MVP. However, if he could some how get Washington into the playoffs, he would be MVP hands down.

    But there is still lots of time to go by before we see the real MVP. If I was a betting man, I think I would put my money on Brodeur right now.

  15. dcz28 says:

    I didn’t say he was better because of PIM’s but that does say that he is more physical (i’m pretty sure Chara has more hits but i couldn’t find the hit stats and thats why i talked about PIMs) and the reason Pronger won the Norris a while back over Lidstrom was because of his physical play because Lidstrom had a better season that year

    All i am saying is that if i was a gm and was looking for a big tough dman Chara would be my first choice since he can do it all and my comments were about Muckies saying Pronger was the meanest…not to say Pronger is not a top dman…Lidstrom would be my first choice since he is great in all situations not to mention he has only missed like 20 games since he started his career in the NHL and some of those was Bowman resting him for the playoffs and he was not injured (i know some will say he hasn’t missed much because he doesn’t play a hitting game but that doesn’t mean other teams dont try to hit him)

  16. dcz28 says:

    Read my response to Kraut above on why i said what i did…also Iginla is considered the best power forward in the league and his skills are the main reason but a power foward has to drop the gloves once in a while and that makes the player more valuable to the team when you know the player is not affraid to fight anyone…so fighting does help a player gain respect even for a dman

    As for the fight i agree that would be one hell of a fight

  17. wingerxxx says:

    Yep, it used to be Sundin, now it is McCabe.

  18. dcz28 says:

    Calgary plays a forecheck game like the Sens do now not trapping…in the games against the Wings Nashville had no forecheck on the Wings defense and were all waitting in the neutral zone when the Wings had the puck in their zone…the only time a dman for a trapping team pinches should be when he has a couple of players back incase he doesn’t keep it in or that they are behind in the game…if they do it in other situation then that they are doing the wrong thing and i’m sure the coach would tell them so

  19. Gretzkin says:


    Some don’t think that fighting has a place in Hockey, but yeah on the respect level, it sure does. And when a team is down, sometimes it does add the spark needed to succeed.

    I love it when players like Iggy and Doan, the ones who aren’t supposed to fight, drop the gloves for the protection of others and respect.

    As for the Lidstom, Chara, Pronger debate, it’s a great debate. These are all amazing Dmen, that I would love to have on my team (luckily, I’ve got Pronger).

    It almost goes down to personal preference. In recent istory, I would say:




    Chara, I think is the most surprising of the bunch. I didn’t ever think he’d make it into the upper eschelon of defenseman, but he certainly has earned a spot.

  20. technomarine says:

    MVP will never go to a player on a bottom 5 team, and unfortunately “putting asses in their seats” doesn’t count towards MVP voting.

  21. bailerson says:

    Well Ovechkin has gotta get some votes and i like Gagne as well but that is a whole line producing in Philly.

    so Ovechkin or Kipper

  22. jarcpitre says:

    Your one of the critics I’m talking about. Every single player on the Ottawa senators has a high +/-. You put McCabe on Ottawa and he would be a +30 as well. The reason for his success is that his shot simply hits the net, he gets it on, sure he doesn’t have the hardest shot, but its one of the most accurate. Lidstrom is awesome, however he also had the luxury of playing with superstars his whole career. You seen my list and my comments, people were saying he couldn’t play defence, hmmm, he on every coaches list to make team canada. Obviously somebody thinks he’s good. Not only leading Defenceman in points, but his whole team and has missed 7 games. We’ll see what happens, but for the first half the best stats go to McCabe and Visnovsky. Oh and by the way, I haven’t missed a Leaf game this year and Kaberle is a pilon, he doesn’t hit at all, he is a great passer and thats it. He doesn’t get told to pass to McCabe, he stated that he just doesn’t like to shoot. Lets face it the key to a powerplay is to get the shot from the point with traffic and then pounce on the rebounds. Common man know what your talking about, dont just watch the highlights on TSN.

  23. jarcpitre says:

    First of all us Nova Scotians do know hockey. I agree with some of your picks, Redden could win MVP and the Norris, I would pick crusty from ottawa too though, look what happened when he went down. Your other Picks are good too, however a winning team always wins the MVP. Saying that, the other 3 off your list I would pick would be Jagr, Kipper, and Thorton. I wonder if a player ever won MVP playing for 2 teams in the same year. All in all I like Kipper for the MVP so far, he gives Calgary a chance to win every night, and just to think has was a 3rd goalie in 2003.

  24. jarcpitre says:

    I actually had a toss up between Alfie and Kipper. I don’t like Alfie either, but is having a great year and can he ever skate. As for the Kipper, he is the backbone of Calgary, I don’t even know who the backup is without looking. But I do understand your comment, the MVP usually always goes to a winning team and Ottawa is definetly that.

  25. dcz28 says:

    I agree when the Sens got Chara all i knew about him was that he was huge and lead the league in hits but i never thought he would become a top dman either…his career just took off after comming to the Sens and i think Martin had a big part in that with the system they had and the confidence he showed in Chara to play more minutes because if he had stayed in Long Island i don’t think he would be considered in the top 10 let alone one of the best…like you said it all comes down to what the teams need is because they all have differences in their games that are needed depending on who the other dmen are on the team (physical, leadership, offense, defense, toughness) and all 3 of them bring some of those qualities

  26. Neely4Life says:

    why not crosby then? hes in the exact same boat as ovechkin. They r on losers, and its easier to be an MVP on a shitty team.

  27. ranger_fan says:

    I am going to have to disagree. Tampa and Atlanta are tearing things up. Yes Florida and Washington are weak, but so are the B’s and Leafs, not to mention the Habs.

  28. Spez_Dispenser says:

    Technically, wouldn’t it be mid-season MVP?

    Nitpicking aside, I think it would be Daniel Alfredsson. He is the true leader of the Sens – he can score, pass, and play D, is out there in all situations, and without him, like you said, the Sens are simply an average team. he is the heart of this team and hart of the NHL.

  29. NHLman says:

    I’ve said it once I’ll say it again, at this point Jagr is an easy pick for league MVP. Anyone that has a hand in 50% of his team’s goals is clearly important to his team. Now consider the fact that he leads the league in scoring. How can anyone make an argument with those facts? Jagr is the MVP right now, and even if he doesn’t finish with the league lead in points he still should be MVP.

  30. Gretzkin says:

    I live in Toronto, and I’ve watched nearly every Leaf game that I possible could. If there’s a game on, any team, I’m watching.

    Kaberle is not a Pilon. Sure he doesn’t hit. You don’t need to hit to be a good defenseman. Especially when McCabe is taking himself out of the play all the time by trying to make highlight reel hits with his butt.

    I don’t hate McCabe, I just think tools like you think he’s the saviour of the Leafs. He’s not. He’s a Liabilty.

    As for being on the all of the Coaches list for Turin.

    He didn’t make the Team.

    They put him on the Taxi Squad to shut the likes of people like you.

    You want Gold don’t you? He’d be a mistake.

    Even in light of the fact that Neidermeyer may not be going to the Olympics, they are now dicussing getting Witt, Bowmeester or Hannan to relplace him.

    Meaning: He’s going nowhere but on the Taxi Squad. You’d figure he’d be next in line being on the squad, but I guess that’s not the case now is it.

    You are delusional.

    It’s okay to be a total Homo, but don’t add skill where it doesn’t belong.

    Rub up against McCabes leg all you like Pal, just do it behind closed doors.

  31. Neely4Life says:

    why, he doesnt kill penalties, hes not on every special team. hes 2nd to alfredson, who is also the captian, and leadinf scorer on the best team in the league. Alfredson was out for 4 games, and they almost lost all 4, this showed how valuable to the team he is. Jagr hasnt been out yet, and prolly wont be, so u wont be able to grasp the true value of him, being without his services. Sens already have, and the results were obvious.

  32. habsoverserver says:


  33. bruin37 says:

    IM a bruins fan but i have to say jagr but i think Ovechkin might take it. why is nobody talking about him he might come close to 40 goals before the olmpic break any body agree.

  34. nyrhockey094 says:

    ok liek the other guy said, maybe im a bit biased because i am a ranger fan however with that said…. Henrik Lundqvist any one? Yeah yeah hasek and fernandez are great goaltenders but I think come the seasons end it should be between Lundqvist and Kipper. Only reason i say that, is because look at the team hasek has in front of him. And well Mannys team isnt going any where. But If Kipper and Lundy werent between the pipes on those two teams, they would be more like in lottery contention, not play off contention. Lundqvist is top 3 in the league in GAA and Sv%. For any goaltender let alone a rookie those are pretty good numbers.

  35. shakrmakr says:

    Yeah a total of a -3 out of the 23 goals the Sens scored when McCabe has played against him. With him playing half the game and playing against Ottawa’s top line -3 isn’t bad at all. So maybe you should be the one looking more carefully. Next!!!

  36. shakrmakr says:

    He is a norris candidate but not MVP but it shows how valuable to the team he is through these tough times. You obviously haven’t notice that Kaberle is -7 without McCabe, you think it would be better since according to you McCabe is a horrible dman right? You still haven’t explained how he is a one trick pony with his shot when has 30 assists. Who does the team rely on to play against the opposing team’s top line all the time and play the most minutes? McCabe. If he was so bad defensively especially with a very flaky Belfour this year his plus/minus should be around -20 or so. Next!

  37. shakrmakr says:

    Too bad Sundin can’t hit the net or do anything else. I can see how uneducated about hockey you are with that comment.

  38. jarcpitre says:

    Your calling me a tool and a homo, I find this funny since I’m trained in the Army to kick ass. However tools like you would be a waste of 2 seconds for me, which is more time away from me rubbing up against McCabes leg. The article said that McCabe was on the list for MVP, I then stated I didn’t think he should be on that list. However, I did say he has been the best defenceman at the half way point. Did you hear Don Cherry on HNIC last night and he basically said the same thing, I guess he doesn’t know hockey either.

  39. shuffleonin says:

    This is one of those arguments that anyone can be right and wrong for the same reasons.

    This season has been harder than most to identify a pure Hart candidate. There are simply so many that qualify. My personal vote goes to Alfredsson. I am a Sens fan but my choice would be the same were I not.

    He is the hardest working player on a skilled team. He leads by example and never takes shifts off. His point production could see him holding an Art Ross by seasons end. He stands out on a team of stars and plays in all situations. He is a consummate professional and shows a lot of class when addressing the media. This can be difficult because here in Ottawa we have a lot of idiots writing in the media. The guy is near the league lead in points and goals. He sits near the top of almost all offensive categories and has shown a willingness to get his nose dirty in the corners.

    After Alfie, I would pick Ovechkin. He does more for his team than most veterans and shoulders one hell of a load for a severely undermanned Capitals squad.

    The Kipper comes next on my list. (Wow! No Canadians on my list….)

    Concerning Jagr: He’s playing like he’s been resurrected from the old days. However, I think the success of the Rangers is more a testament to the skills of Tom Renney as a coach. He is my Jack Adams award winner if they keep up the pace.

  40. MikeGartner says:

    No question, Jagr is MVP of the League. The Rangers were supposed to be in a ‘rebuilding’ year, not challenging for the Atlantic division. Of course, without big Lunny, the Rangers could be dead in the water. In this cir*****stance, you would also have to look at Henrik as a candidate for the Vezina.

    Votes for Ovechkin is ridiculous…. If this logic was true, then Crosby would have votes for MVP as well. Both teams are utter crap.

    McCabe is NO MVP of the league….Sure he’s most likely MVP of the leafs, but certainly isn’t remotely close to the league MVP.

  41. RaGsHoCkEy88 says:

    its jaromir jagr…..the rangers r looking playoff bound….for a team predicted to finish dead last but now #8 overall in the league, and for a man thought to be washed up and suddenly got his scoring touch back and leading the league, all fingers point to this man, he’d be a shoe in into the all star game, he hit a milestone this season, and is carrying a young, unpredictable team with the longest current playoff drout right to the playoffs

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