Why Connor McDavid belongs in the Hart Trophy discussion

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Let’s start by identifying the leading contenders, and introduce the statistic in question. It’s called presence, and it was first published over 30 years ago by hockey analytics pioneers Jeff Z. Klein and Karl-Eric Reif in their 1986 Hockey nfl jerseys cheap china Compendium as the first attempt to measure the importance of individual players to their teams.

The first version of the statistic was specific to goals, and was calculated by dividing a player’s goals (prorated over an entire season) by the number of goals scored by his teammates. So the more a player scores, and the fewer goals scored by the rest of his team, the higher his Goal presence will be. At 0.228, McDavid is in second place this season, narrowly trailing Alex Ovechkin by a rounding factor.

McDavid’s goal presence is actually higher than Wayne Gretzky’s 0.221 in his record-setting 92-goal season, because the rest of the 1981-82 Oilers scored so many goals. A better example of a valuable goal scorer is Pavel Bure, who led the NHL in goals for the second consecutive season with 59 goals in 82 games in 2000-01. Given that his Florida Panthers teammates combined for just 141 additional goals, his goal presence was an untouchable 0.418 that season.

Once the formula was expanded beyond goals to include all of a player’s points, it became a reliable predictor of Hart Trophy winners — assuming the player’s team made the playoffs. For example, Bure led the NHL with an amazing presence of 0.652 in 2000-01, but didn’t win the Hart Trophy because the Panthers were so far outside the playoff picture.

This wasn’t a one-time error, because the same situation occurred the very next season, when Jarome Iginla became the first player other than Gretzky, Mario Lemieux or Jaromir Jagr to win the NHL scoring race since the 1970s. He had a jaw-dropping presence of 0.644 that season, but because the Calgary Flames missed the playoffs, Iginla lost the Hart Trophy race to one-hit wonder Jose Theodore of the Montreal Canadiens.

If Iginla didn’t even appear on one voter’s five-player ballot, and if Bure finished ninth when he scored 59 goals and 92 points on a team where Viktor Kozlov finished second with 14 goals and 37 points, then how does McDavid even stand a chance?

If the Oilers qualified for the playoffs, then the PHWA would have its easiest decision in years. McDavid has a clear lead in the scoring race and in presence, and handily won the award in 2016-17.