25 Worst award snubs in NHL history: 25. Charlie McAvoy – Calder Trophy 2018
This one would be higher on the list, but it’s hard to argue for Mathew Barzal in 2018. But we have some gripes with how the voting process worked. How did Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy end up fifth in Calder voting in 2018? This is a travesty of justice if we’ve ever seen one. The finalists ended up being Barzal, Brock Boeser, and Clayton Keller. McAvoy was a top defenseman for a superstar team at one of the hardest positions in the league.
These awards are supposed to track the impact a player has on the game, right? Sure, Barzal was great offensively, but McAvoy was great at both sides of the ice. He played 22 minutes per night on a team that had 112 points in the standings. They were one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for tops in the NHL.
McAvoy was on the ice for 54 goals at even strength. His impact was clear. Meanwhile, the Bruins only allowed 33 goals when he was on the ice. A 21 goal difference at 5v5 is huge for any team. Meanwhile, Barzal only had a 13-goal difference.
McAvoy’s impact is impossible to doubt. For him to do what he did as a rookie deserves recognition. For him to finish fifth feels preposterous. What are these voters doing? We’re not asking for them to master the art of analytics, but to now understand the impact of a defenseman because a few other players got points is just silly.