Dallas Stars Daily Links: Taking A Look At The Stars’ MVPs

Which Star is the biggest star? Saad Yousuf examines five candidates, and whether any of them could enter the Hart Trophy conversation. Plus, Tufte’s Minnesota souvenir, Jagr’s refugee benefit, and more.

It’s March, and the Dallas Stars are in the Stanley Cup playoffs conversation as more than an outside-lane candidate for the second wild-card spot. So of course – of course – we need to talk about which players could enter the postseason awards conversation.

But before we can talk about which member of the Victory Green Gang could walk off with the Hart Trophy, we need to talk about who’s been the most valuable player to the team itself. The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf has identified five players who could fill the bill:

Determining value to a team is a tricky conversation because the interpretation is subjective. Is this the “best” player on the team? If so, Miro Heiskanen wins on the Stars. Is it the top goalscorer? [Jason] Robertson leads with 29 goals. Is it the top offensive producer? Joe Pavelski is tops there. Is it the best two-way forward? Roope Hintz would like to have a word. Is it the player who is relied upon most heavily to tilt the scoreboard? Jake Oettinger has a strong case.

There are other factors beyond production, too, such as timing, durability, consistency and team success. All of these things combine to provide value but who is most valuable, individually, is where things get interesting.

Yet as crucial as Oettinger and Heiskanen have been to the Stars, the history of the league MVP award shows it to be a forwards-only honor – in deed, if not in word:

...For whatever case Oettinger has in terms of his value to the Stars, goaltenders rarely win the Hart. Since 1962, only two goaltenders have won the Hart and it came three times in a six-year span when Dominik Hasek won it twice in 1996-97 and 1997-98 and then Jose Theodore won in 2001-02. Even if a goaltender was to be considered this season, all other netminders would fall short to Igor Shesterkin’s season in New York.

Heiskanen falls under a similar conundrum, as Chris Pronger in 1999-00 is the only defenseman to have won the award since 1972. Goaltenders and defensemen have their own distinguished awards in the Vezina and Norris, respectively. Again, the definition comes under scrutiny because the best goaltender or best defensemen shouldn’t be mutually exclusive to the most valuable player to their team, but that’s how it’s been.

There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]

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Riley Tufte came back from Minnesota with a pretty awesome souvenir, too.

Want to chat with Matt? The Dallas Morning News’ main hockey mind is taking your questions.

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