NHL: 25 worst award snubs in the history of hockey: 18. Lorne “Gump” Worsley Conn Smythe 1968
This one takes us back into the heyday of great hockey. The late 60s is when hockey was ramping up again. The league added six teams all at once in 1967. That really brought the competition down right away before the league’s talent level caught up. Still, don’t take away anything from the champion that season, the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal was placed in a division with the Original Six teams, and they beat the Black Hawks and Bruins on the way to the Stanley Cup.
In the Final, it was no contest. They formatted the league so the winner of the East would face the winner of the West, which was basically all of the expansion teams. The St. Louis Blues came out of it, and the Canadiens just dominated them in the Final. The Blues lost every single game.
So it would make sense that someone on the Montreal Canadiens would easily win the award. Would it be Yvan Cournoyer, who led all of the Canadiens in points for the postseason. Maybe a 22-year-old Jacques Lemaire would be the winner of the Conn Smythe, who played a big role despite his age. At the end of the day, it makes the most sense to give it to Lorne “Gump” Worsley, who was great in net.
Instead, they gave it to Glenn Hall. Wait, what? They gave it to the goalie who got swept in the Final? We get it. The voters probably had feelings towards Hall for carrying an expansion team to the Final. However, this award isn’t supposed to be a feel-good story. This is supposed to be a telling of who was the best player in the postseason. Worsley had a better save percentage, a better GAA, and he had just as many shutouts. Hall carried the Blues to the Final, but he failed in the championship round.