25 Worst award snubs in NHL history: 1. Mario Lemieux Hart Trophy 1989
This was the rare occurrence where the best player in the league missed out on the MVP award in one of his best seasons. Mario Lemieux had 199 points in 1988-89. That is one of the top five point scoring seasons in this history of the league. Yet, he lost out of the MVP to Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky was the storyline. Lemieux beat out Gretzky the season before, ending his He was just traded to the Los Angeles Kings in one of the most shocking trades in the history of sports. Gretzky led the Kings to the playoffs in his first year there. He still led the league in assists with 114. Well, he was tied for the league lead with Lemieux. The only difference is Lemieux scored 85 goals that season to Gretzky’s 54.
Lemieux was so dominant this season for the Penguins. He was the best player in the league. However, the voters went for the player who had the best storyline in the NHL. It definitely brought more eyes to the game to have the man in Los Angeles win the top player award. However, Lemieux was just plain better.
Lemieux went on to win two more Hart Trophies while this was the last Hart Trophy Gretzky ever won. It was an interesting legacy to leave behind for the two best players to ever play the game. Their closest battle was also their most controversial.