25 Worst award snubs in NHL history: 7. Marcel Dionne Hart Trophy 1980
Marcel Dionne is one of the forgotten superstars of this era in the NHL. He started his career as the face of the Howe-less Detroit Red Wings, but then he became frustrated and he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He immediately dominated and became one of the premiere scorers in the history of the game.
Dionne went to the Kings in 1976, but by 1978 he was one of the best players in the league. He came in third for MVP in 1979, losing to the Islanders’ Bryan Trottier. Trottier pushed Mike Bossy to the league lead in goals that season, beating out Dionne by 10 goals for the lead. The next season, Dionne went into the season as one of the favorites to win the Hart. And he had an even better season than he had the year before.
Dionne scored 137 points, the same amount as Wayne Gretzky. The Great One was a rookie at the time. Dionne squeaked out the goals lead. He was also slightly better than Gretzky at defense. Dionne was deserving of the MVP that season. Gretzky was great, but it was clear that he was just as good as Dionne, and he was going to be an MVP very often from there on out. He also had the best supporting cast. While that shouldn’t hurt Coffey for the Norris Trophy, when it comes to the Most Valuable Player, it has to be considered in close races.
Gretzky was a boom or bust player in his rookie season. Dionne was carrying the Kings to new heights. Sure, the Kings were below Hockey .500, but somehow so were the Oilers. They both made the playoffs. This should show the ability that Dionne was bringing every night. Unfortunately, Dionne never won the Hart Trophy, as Gretzky cornered the market on those in the 80s.