Sidney Crosby may have missed out on the Hart Trophy this year (finishing third in the voting behind Henrik Sedin and Alex Ovechkin), as well as the Lester Pearson Award for MVP as voted on by the players (Ovechkin), but last night he won the ESPY Award for Best NHL Player.
The ESPY award doesn’t specify parameters, so Crosby’s Olympic-winning goal likely swayed some votes, and all three players had comparably unmemorable postseasons, so even if the Crosby verdict was just a byproduct of casual fans voting for the biggest name, the decision by the ESPY voters is a fairly logical one, especially when Crosby deserved the Hart over Sedin to begin with.
I realize this evaluation is borderline conspiracy-theory-ey, especially coming from a blogger with a Pens logo in his banner, but I still believe that North American hockey writers were influenced by the opportunity to promote someone other than Crosby or Ovechkin for a change and leapt at the chance to vote for Sedin knowing it would benefit the league as a whole from a promotional standpoint, especially after Ryan Miller’s Olympic run was such a captivating event .
At this juncture, I would like to post my monthly “hockey writers are stupid” reminder that Jaromir Jagr won 5 scoring titles and only 1 Hart Trophy in his career, and that doesn’t include the year he finished 2 points behind Joe Thornton but scored 25 more goals and Thornton still got the MVP. I’ve said multiple times that complaining about MVP voting is the most useless endeavor in sports besides complaining about All-Star selections, and yet I get pulled into it again and again every year. It’s like heroin, without the upside.