Bad news, friends: Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau was not named a Hart Trophy finalist on Thursday morning by the National Hockey League. The top three vote-getters for the Hart Trophy were Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and the NY Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin – the winner and final voting results will be revealed later during the playoffs.
So here’s how the Hart Trophy balloting works: it’s a ranked ballot, with voters from the Professional Hockey Writers Association asked to provide their top five contenders (in preferential order, ranked 1 to 5). (I voted this year.)
This year’s balloting was tough. From a pure scoring standpoint, Matthews, McDavid, Gaudreau, Leon Draisaitl, Jonathan Huberdeau, Kirill Kaprizov, Steven Stamkos and Matthew Tkachuk all had superb seasons – all eight reached 100 points this season. In addition, Shesterkin was amazing for the Rangers in net and Roman Josi had a tremendous season for Nashville on the blueline.
It seems likely that the majority of the PHWA’s 200 voters put Matthews (the goal-scoring leader) and McDavid (the points leader) on their ballots, with the other three votes going to some combination of the other eight players in some order.
Gaudreau not being a Hart Trophy finalist does nothing to diminish his spectacular season. And if it makes you feel better, he probably finished quite well in the year-end positional all-star voting.
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