Travis Konecny – Hart Memorial Trophy
In hockey, crazy things tend to happen pretty regularly. Although it doesn’t seem likely at all that Travis Konecny wins MVP, crazy things do in fact happen. After all, it was just five years ago when Taylor Hall won the Hart with the Devils, despite MacKinnon, Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov, Claude Giroux, and Connor McDavid all scoring more points than him.
Hall’s Hart win was largely an albatross; the newly minted Chicago Blackhawk never received a Hart vote before that season, and hasn’t received one since. The voting results were just as unhinged as Hall’s performance that season. Eric Staal received the same amount of votes (1) as Crosby, and players like Blake Wheeler and William Karlsson finished with more votes than Crosby, Bergeron, Vezina winner Pekka Rinne, Connor Hellebuyck, and Brad Marchand.
Konecny scored a career-high 31 goals last season, and tied his personal-best in points with 61 in only 60 games. Now, the 26 year old just needs to maintain that across a 82-game season. Couturier and Atkinson will be back, Cam York is poised for a larger role, and several of the prospects will provide additional reinforcements. Konecny’s supporting cast will be greatly improved from 2022-23.
The entire basis of this argument depends on whether Konecny’s true ceiling is just an average, 60-point, top-six winger, or if he has an even higher gear. Based on last season, it’s entirely possible that the latter is true. Either way, it’ll take a herculean effort from both Konecny and the Flyers as a whole to bring this far-fetched idea to life.