Have A Hart

DANIEL:
Corey Perry's two goal night puts him atop the Richard hopefuls for the season, and number 10's performance of late has carried the Ducks in their march up the standings.

Arthur, is a bid for the Hart Trophy a reality for Corey Perry yet?

ARTHUR:
No. And I know that's a passé estimation of the modern hockey writer, who has Gamecenter Live, DVR and maybe even common sense at his disposal, but I'll stop living in the past when they prove that they don't.

Perry has himself in the picture for the Rocket Richard, he's been the MVP of a tight playoff race and anyone who has watched his assault on the stat columns this month can't deny him their vote. But that's the key: anyone who has watched.

You can't expect people to give their Best Picture vote to a movie they haven't seen. You can ridicule them for spending their time watching bad films, for refusing to appreciate things that aren't spoon fed to them and for voting for Rod Brind'amour (yup, still bitter), but you can't expect them to, at the end of the season, vote for Corey Perry, when they probably don't even know how to spell his name.

Again, it doesn't mean that he hasn't made a compelling argument, maybe the most compelling argument, but the trophy isn't about that. Perry is pleading his case flawlessly, but the jurors have decided his table is too far away in the courtroom for them to pay him any attention.

DANIEL:
Sadly, I have to agree with you on this. Overall, I think the grandfather system of NHL awards is too strong. It's a situation where you have to show why the other guy doesn't deserve the award instead of demonstrating why you should win it. Daniel Sedin has had this award sewn up since Crosby got injured and Stamkos cooled down, two events that happened at about the same time.

Personally, I don't think an Anaheim player will ever win an award that isn't the Art Ross or the Rocket Richard. Even if people notice us, we're still the red-headed step-child. The fact that we play in Anaheim will always make us the "other" Southern California team, in terms of media hype. The only places more invisible to hockey media at large are Miami, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. Perry is currently receiving the lip service appropriate for a guy from a market no one cares about. The summary of any article that discusses him as a possible Hart candidate can be summed up as follows, "Someone should vote for him, but it won't be me."

Finally, despite doing a good job of staying out of the box, I'm pretty sure a lot of people in the media are waiting for Perry to go crazy and cross-check someone away from the play, so they can jump up and down and scream how a Hart winner would never do that. I don't think there's been enough time for Perry to fully live down that reputation. Maybe there was a time when it didn't matter, but in the new NHL, where everyone in the media wants to criticize dirty players, Perry won't be able to find enough votes to win the Hart.

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