New award needed for NHL MVP

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:03 AM ET

The NHL needs a new trophy for the best player in the league.

Call it the Wayne Gretzky Trophy and let The Great One himself pick the winner annually.

This year it would likely go to Daniel Sedin - the best player on the best team.

However, as great a story as it would be to have him following in his brother's footsteps the clear-cut winner of the Hart should be Corey Perry.

After all, the Hart is for "the player adjudicated to be the most valuable to his team."

Corey Perry carried the Ducks when Ryan Getzlaf and Jonas Hiller were out and when it mattered most he carried Anaheim to a charge that led them from 11th in the west to fourth.

The Artist Formerly Known as Cheapshot led the league in goals (50) and game-winners (11) while killing penalties and doing what it took to lift a squad few considered playoff-worthy to home-ice advantage in the first round.

Without him the Ducks would have been cleaning out their lockers today.

Take Daniel out of the Canucks lineup and Henrik would have paced the club exactly as he did last year when Daniel got hurt.

Sadly, too many voters in the Professional Hockey Writers' Association believe the Hart is simply for the best player.

Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering what makes people in a gallery scramble like idiots for the privilege of standing next to a stray golf ball.

Around the horn

Don't expect to hear any updates as the Flames and Alex Tanguay try to come to terms as Tanguay's agent, Steve Kotlowitz, respectfully declined comment Saturday, insisting he never speaks to the media ... Classy move by the Canucks to ensure Cory Schneider got the minimum 25 appearances in so he could have his name on the Jennings Trophy awarded to the team allowing the fewest goals. Saturday's start in Calgary was his 25th game and GM Mike Gillis confirmed that was by design ... Hearing that ESPN is still very much at the table as part of the lucrative TV deal being hammered out by COO John Collins for the NHL. ESPN isn't scared of the price tag and loves the access the league gives, the young stars in the game and the clean-cut nature of its players. The decision is to be made by May and it will be a massive pay day for the owners "¦ Leafs coach Ron Wilson on hopes James Reimer won't rest on his laurels or let his early success go to his head this summer: "I don't want to see him posing for any statues this summer, put it that way." "¦ Wilson on Springbank resident Joe Colborne's NHL's debut Saturday. "Joe needs to put on some weight but I think he's going to be a pretty good player in this league."

Parting gifts

The evolution of the Hart trophy winner was a fascinating one that featured several clear-cut leaders at various points from Tim Thomas to Steve Stamkos to Sidney Crosby to Carey Price to Daniel Sedin and finally Perry "¦ As an ambassador for KidSport I will donate $1 for every new Twitter follower this month so more kids can play while learning the beautiful lessons sport teaches us all. Thanks for all those who've already helped the cause "¦ Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said on NESN that a pointed Dion Phaneuf told him in no uncertain terms the team needed bigger forwards ... One of the most incredible stats of the year comes courtesy of former defenceman Tony Lydman who is plus-32 on an Anaheim team largely populated by minus players. In four years with the Flames he was minus-16 and has never had a season better than plus-10 ... While we aren't changing our pre-season prediction that Vancouver will win the Stanley Cup, it wouldn't surprise us if any team in the west - save for Phoenix or L.A. - went all the way. The west is that good ... Strange stat of the week: no west conference player has had more than Perry's 21 third period goals since the 1993-94 season when Pavel Bure, Brendan Shanahan and Brett Hull did it.

eric.francis@sunmedia.ca | twitter.com/ericfrancis

- Eric Francis appears regularly as a panellist on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada


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