10 early votes for the Hart
GlobeSports.com has been running a weekly Trophy Tracker on it's hockey hub, where the newspaper's hockey experts all weigh in throughout the season on who will take home the NHL's hardware.
So far for the biggest award of them all — the Hart Trophy — there are all kinds of candidates being offered up: Marian Hossa, Chris Drury, Joe Thornton, Jaromir Jagr, etc.
For the most part, I agree with the picks but given how close things are at this point, I think there are 10 players deserving of a vote, one month into the season:
- Marian Hossa, Atlanta. Leading the league in goals on one of 2006-07's surprise teams.
- Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh. On pace for 130 points, Crosby's lighting a fire under the rest of his team.
- Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim. Ducks have yet to lose in regulation and captain is a big reason why.
- Manny Fernandez, Minnesota. He's been terrific this season and is one of the league leaders in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and saves.
- Chris Drury, Buffalo. Lead penalty killer and one of NHL's scoring leaders.
- Daniel Briere, Buffalo. Will be counted on for even more with Maxim Afinogenov on the shelf.
- Mats Sundin, Toronto. We're going to see just where the Maple Leafs would be without their captain for the next three-to-four weeks.
- Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina. Team hasn't climbed the standings but may be on their way given 36-year-old's play.
- Chris Pronger, Anaheim. Contributions have nearly mirrored those of Niedermayer so far with Ducks.
- Alex Ovechkin, Washington. Capitals owe a lot of their surprising start (6-4-4) to super sophomore.