Editorials

20 Hart Trophy Candidates

By Mike Brennan
Jan 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) scores a goal on Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens (40) during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) scores a goal on Montreal Canadiens goalie Ben Scrivens (40) during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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hart trophy
Jan 25, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) is named the number one star in the win over the Calgary Flames at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Flames 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: Jamie Benn, LW, Dallas Stars

Trying to argue whether Seguin or Benn is more important to the Stars right now is like trying to argue whether Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane has been more important to the Blackhawks’ ongoing revival in Chicago. There’s not really a wrong answer, and you should probably just focus on hating the Blues instead.

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Benn is second in the league in points (58) and goals (30), both marks that lead the Stars. His plus-16 rating is tied for the team lead, as are his two shorthanded goals. His 12 powerplay tallies far and away lead the Stars, and would lead the league if it wasn’t for a certain guy in an Indian Head sweater. He plays a tad over 20 minutes a night, which is more than most others on this list (Seguin, Pavelski, Malkin, Kuznetsov, Tarasenko, Wheeler, Backstrom, Sedin, Kucherov, Duchene and a whopping second more than both Bergeron and Hall). He carries play at a 62.25 percent clip. The guy is good at hockey.

Benn is probably destined to be top-three in Hart Trophy voting, and top-five at worst. But he’s going to be in the conversation for a while at this rate, because the Stars don’t seem interested in completely fixing their defense or even trying to fix their goaltending, so they’ll need every bit of offense Benn provides in order to succeed.

Next: No. 1: Patrick Kane

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