25 Worst award snubs in NHL history: 16. Rod Brind’Amour Conn Smythe 2006
The Conn Smythe Award doesn’t get enough love when it comes to award snubs lists. This is one of the awards that voters get wrong the most. For one, they don’t have time to think. They give voters the same amount of time they have to vote for the Three Stars they vote on a nightly basis. So, they give voters a chance to think for about 30 seconds about who was the MVP of the postseason. This isn’t even the Stanley Cup Final MVP like in baseball. This is the MVP of the entire playoffs.
How can a voter really establish that much information that quickly? That’s why three types of players win this award. The star player, the goalie, and the storyline are the only players who have a chance at this award. That would be fine if they didn’t get it wrong so many times. That’s what happened in 2006. Cam Ward was THE story and THE goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes, a recent expansion team that is now on its way to a Stanley Cup Championship.
However, to say that anyone had as much of an impact on that championship season as Rod Brind’Amour was just mistaken. He was the captain of the team, holding some of the most important duties of the team. He scored the most goals on the Hurricanes despite also spending a ton of time in the other end stopping goals from getting past Ward.
What’s most impressive is he played 23 minutes per night. That’s unheard of for a forward. Brind’Amour was doing everything. He was shutting the other team down on the penalty kill. His power-play prowess led directly to goals, six times scoring the goal himself. He also had four game-winning goals. He had the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Sabres. He had the game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Final against the Oilers. The latter of which came with 30 seconds left in the 3rd period and the game tied. He had ice in his veins this postseason, and he deserved to be showered with glory.