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NHL Midseason Awards: Hart Trophy

by Photo of Andrew Wallach

Who is the MVP of the NHL at the halfway point?

NHL Midseason Awards: Hart Trophy

NHL Mid-season Awards: Hart Trophy

It's never too early to start predicting major awards. With every team at or right around the 41-game mark, let's take a look at the frontrunners to win the Hart Trophy for NHL MVP:

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

Last year’s runner up for league MVP, Getzlaf has been a star center in the NHL for some time now. The difference this season is the way that he performed while former Hart-winning teammate Corey Perry was sidelined with knee issues and the mumps. In those 14 games, the Ducks captain tallied 19 points and led the entire league with 20 points in the month of December. Getzlaf has totaled 45 points through the first 42 games and is averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per game for the Pacific Division leading Ducks.

Rick Nash, New York Rangers

Winners of five in a row and 13 of their last 14, the Rangers are the hottest team in the league right now. A huge reason for the Blueshirts’ success is the play of Rick Nash. I profiled Nash’s resurgence here, but his consistent scoring and physical play have led the Rangers all season long. He is tied for the league lead with 26 goals in just 39 games and has his team poised for another playoff run. Nash will get to experience the All-Star game in his former hometown of Columbus later this month. 

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

At the midway point of this season, the Nashville Predators have the most points in the NHL. If I had predicted such an outcome at the outset of the year I would have been institutionalized. What has been the driving force in Nashville? Goaltender Pekka Rinne. The Predators goalie has bounced back from an injury plagued season in 2013 to play at an elite level so far this year. He leads the league with 28 wins and is in the top 3 for both goals against average and save percentage among qualified goalies. I would be hard pressed to find one individual who is as important to his team as Rinne is to the Preds.

Notables: Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

My Vote: Ryan Getzlaf

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