Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hockey Trivia: You Gotta Have Hart

mario lemieux pittsburgh penguins o-pee-chee rookie hockey card
The Hart Memorial Trophy has been handed out to the National Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player since 1924. The trophy was donated to the NHL by Doctor David Hart, who was the father of Cecil Hart, former coach and general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.

Test and expand your hockey trivia knowledge with these following questions regarding the Hart Memorial Trophy.

Q. What Philadelphia Flyers player won the Hart in 1994-95?

A. Eric Lindros won the Hart Trophy in 1995. Lindros tied Jaromir Jagr of the Pittsburgh Penguins for most points during the shortened 1994-95 NHL season. Lindros and Jagr both had 70 points, five more than Alexei Zhamnov of the Winnipeg Jets. Jagr was awarded the Art Ross Trophy because he had more goals.

After a junior career with the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League, Lindros played 760 regular season games in the National Hockey League from 1992-93 to 2006-07 with the Flyers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars. His numbers were impressive with 372 goals and 493 assists for 865 points.

Q. Who is the only NHL goalie to win consecutive Hart Trophies?

A. Dominik Hasek of the Buffalo Sabres won the Hart Trophy in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Hasek and Jose Theodore are the only goalies to win the Hart since Jacques Plante won it in 1962.

Hasek started his NHL career humbly with the Chicago Blackhawks, appearing in just five games in 1990-91 and 20 the following season. However, once he was sent to the Buffalo Sabres for the 1992-93 season, Dominik’s NHL career took off. He played with the Sabres until the end of 2001-02 before joining the Detroit Red Wings. Hasek also played a year with the Ottawa Senators along with pro hockey in the Czech Extraliga and the Russia based KHL before retiring after the 2010-11 season.

Q. Other than Wayne Gretzky, who was the only player to win the Hart Trophy during the 1980’s?

A. Mario Lemieux won the Hart in 1988 while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gretzky won the previous eight as a member of the Edmonton Oilers and won again the year following Lemieux as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

The first overall pick at the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, Lemieux won the Hart Trophy two more times over his career. He played his entire NHL career with the Penguins from 1984-85 to 2005-06 with a three year layoff between 1997-98 and 1999-00.

Q. Who was the first player to win the Hart Trophy when it was introduced in 1924?

A. Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators won the first ever Hart Trophy. Nighbor was also the first ever recipient of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy when it was introduced the following year. In that 1923-24 season, Frank scored ten goals and assistsed on three for 13 points over 20 games. Ottawa placed first overall in the four team league over the 24 game regular season schedule. The Senators then fell to the Montreal Canadiens in a two game total goal Stanley Cup final.

Nighbor played with the Senators from 1915-16 until a midseason traded sent him to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1929-30, his final year in the NHL. Frank was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947. It was just the second round of inductions with 1945 being the first.


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