This morning news broke that Yakupov wasnt even a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s “Most Proficient Rookie”. But hey at least the next best Rookie, Jonas Brodin, looks like he’s running away with it. Oh…he wasnt a finalist either.
The Professional (questionable) Hockey Writers Association tallied its votes and came up with 3 final names before the trophy gets awarded. The 3 names they came up with are Jonathan Huberdeau, Brendan Gallagher, and Brandon Saad.
The image above is the ONLY explanation.
The fact is there is only 1 reason to nominate Huberdeau: Points. And Yakupov finished ahead of him in Rookie Scoring. A vote for Huberdeau is a vote for “The Most Proficient Rookie in the NHL” as determined by offensive production. Except Huberdeau DID NOT have the most points as a Rookie in the NHL.
A vote for Saad is essentially a vote for Jonathan Toews who has been inflating this kids box cars all year. Saad looks like a fine young player, but is he really getting a nod because he played on a feature line for most of the year? Yak scored his LEAGUE ROOKIE LEADING points from the 3rd line. Is that a knock against him?
A vote for Gallagher is a vote for “Most Surprising Rookie”. Its a nice story that some 21 year old 5th rounder came in 4th in Rookie scoring, but he isnt the best rookie. Not even the 3rd best rookie.
For Yakupov to not even get into the finals when he is undeniably the NHL’s most proficient Rookie is a damning omission from the PHWA. For Brodin, the defenseman who lead all Rookies in TOI/ Game to not get the nod either is unacceptable.
The PHWA does not deserve to be voting on these awards any more. The NHL needs to take the power out of these clowns’ hands and put them back into the hands of actual Hockey people. There is no reason why the General Managers and Coaches cannot vote on these awards. 30-60 votes. 2 from each NHL Franchise. Rules are you cannot vote for your own player. Done.
The PHWA has proven time and again that they are not qualified or professional enough to take their duties seriously. Its time for a change.