February 17

Hart Trophy: Top 5 Candidates For NHL MVP

Article Via HoundSports:5. Florida Panthers: Roberto Luongo, G

Roberto Luongo has always had his abilities questioned, but since leaving the Vancouver Canucks and joining the Florida Panthers he has watched those questions disappear. Luongo is thriving down in Florida, he is a big reason why the Florida Panthers are having success this season. The Panthers are currently four points out of the playoffs, after being one of the worst teams in the NHL a year ago. Luongo has a 20-14 record this season to go along with a .924 save percentage. He deserves some consideration because of his play this year and the way his team is performing when he starts in the crease.

4. Nashville Predators: Pekka Rinne, G

Pekka Rinne has always been considered to be one of the best goalies in the NHL, this year he is really making that clear. Rinne has had to improve his game even more while the Predators tried to improve their offense. For years the Predators have had great defenses, this season, that has changed. This shift in power has made Rinne more and more valuable. Just this year alone Rinne has 33 wins and just 7 losses. The Predators are currently the top team in the NHL and a lot of it has to do with their goalie, Pekka Rinne.

3. Philadelphia Flyers: Jakub Voracek, RW

Jakub Voracek is about the only good thing going for the Flyers this season. He is leading the team in almost every offensive category. He led the NHL in points for most of the season until recently. Voracek has 18 goals, 40 assists and a total of 60 points on the season. Impressive from a guy who’s team is currently 10th in the Eastern conference. That’s most likely why Voracek will not win this year’s MVP, which is a shame. If Voracek wasn’t on the Flyers they may be worse than 10th in the Eastern conference. That makes Voracek a very valuable player and strong MVP candidate.

2. Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf, Center

Ryan Getzlaf has been a star in the NHL for a long, long time, and he is finally getting the recognition he deserves. This season has been up and down for Getzlaf. Getzlaf sits seventh in scoring with 50 points. The center’s 35 assists are tied for third in all of the NHL. Passing has always been his first option but 15 goals, which are third on the Ducks, put him on pace for a fourth 25-goal season. Plus the Ducks are again one of the NHL’s best teams which gives Getzlaf an upper-hand in voting. Without their captain Getzlaf, the Ducks would struggle to find leadership and a voice in the locker room. Getzlaf makes the Ducks and deserves to win the Hart trophy.

1. Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane, Right Wing

To start out, Getzlaf and Kane could alternate between #1 and #2 at any time, but right now the hot player wins. Patrick Kane is having his best season in the NHL. He is scoring goals and winning games like never before. Everyone knew Kane had skill, but not like this. Patrick Kane leads the league in overall points, he is three points above the Flyers’ Jakub Voracek. Kane has seven shoot out goals this season, a major step up from last season. Being a clutch player is what the Hart trophy is all about. Kane will most likely set his career high in goals this season, he already has 27. Yes, the Blackhawks are a great team, but without Kane they may not be a lock in this year’s NHL playoffs. Kane could also be the first American born player to win the Hart trophy. It’s time, Patrick Kane should win the 2015 NHL MVP award.

Nick Petro is the Chicago Blackhawks analyst at HoundSports follow him on Twitter @nickpetroshag