Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Missing playoffs would hurt MVP candidacy of Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos

When Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said last week that Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos should get serious consideration for league MVP, he touched off an interesting debate as to what should be the qualifications for the award.

Is it right, or fair, for a player not on a playoff team to be named a most valuable player?

Even Yzerman said that is a valid question. But he also said there are times a player is so good, his accomplishments should override his team's deficiencies.

It has happened four times in 87 years with the Hart Trophy, which is voted by the media (the last being Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux in 1987-88), and three times in 40 years with the Ted Lindsay Award, which is voted by the players (the last being Calgary's Jarome Iginla in 2001-02).

Asked to give his criteria, Yzerman laughed.

"Well, it's far from scientific," he said. "The impact they have on their team, and, I guess, take that player out of your team and what happens?"

Though the Lightning gets high marks for overcoming its worst season since 2002-03 in terms of injuries, remove Stamkos and the league-best 50 goals he had entering Saturday — and especially the 10 winners, tied for the league lead — and Tampa Bay likely would have been out of the playoff conversation much sooner.

That said:

Where would the Penguins be without Evgeni Malkin, who has a league-best 85 points, is second with 40 goals and who carried Pittsburgh while waiting for the return of Sidney Crosby?

Where would the Rangers be without goaltender Henrik Lundqvist? New York leads the Eastern Conference but entered Saturday eighth in the East with a mediocre 194 goals. Lundqvist put his team on his back and entered Saturday with a league-best eight shutouts. He was third with a 1.88 goals-against average and second with a .935 save percentage.

The kicker is the efforts of Malkin and Lundqvist are leading their teams to the playoffs, and both have a better chance of being named MVP because of it.

. fast facts

Playoffs not necessary

Players who have won the MVP Hart Trophy (as voted by the media) and the Ted Lindsay Trophy (as voted by the players) without their team making the playoffs:

Hart

PLAYERSEASONTEAM
Mario Lemieux1987-88Penguins
Andy Bathgate1958-59Rangers
Al Rollins1953-54Blackhawks
Tommy Anderson1941-42Americans

Lindsay

PLAYERSEASONTEAM
Jarome Iginla2001-02Flames
Mario Lemieux1987-88Penguins
Mario Lemieux1985-86Penguins

Missing playoffs would hurt MVP candidacy of Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos 03/17/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 17, 2012 9:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.