There Were Truly Only Two Choices for Team MVP, Did Media Get It Right?

Danielle Marie
April 12, 2023  (11:13)

Flyers held their annual Team Awards last night before their final home game of the season.

There are Six Awards in total:
The Bobby Clarke Trophy, chosen by the Philadelphia media and broadcasters and awarded to the Team MVP. (2023 Winner: Carter Hart)
The Gene Hart Memorial Trophy, chosen by the Flyers fan club members and awarded to the player who exemplifies the most "Heart" throughout the season.(2023 Winner: Carter Hart)
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The Toyota Cup also chosen by the Media, but this one is done more so throughout the season as it's based off a points system associated with the Stars of the game, which the home team's media group selects at the end of each game.(2023 Winner: Carter Hart)
The Barry Ashbee Trophy, chosen by the media and awarded to the Most Outstanding Defeseman.(2023 Winner: Ivan Provorov)
The Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy, chosen by the players and awarded to the player they deem most improved from the previous season.(2023 Winner: Owen Tippett)
The Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award, chosen by the media and awarded to the player they deem has the most character, dignity and respect.(2023 Winner: Justin Braun)
With all the awards now laid out, let's discuss the most important one, at least, in my opinion, the Bobby Clarke Trophy awarded to the player the media and broadcast crew deem as the team's MVP.
This year, they chose Carter Hart, but the argument could be made Travis Konecny was a good choice, too; even according to the media Konecny wouldn't be a bad option. The Flyers asked for the media top 3 choices in Team MVP and Most Outstanding Defenseman and the few media members who were willing to share their ballots on twitter had Hart at #1 and Konecny at #2.
While he didn't tweet his ballot, Sam Carchidi mentioned Hart had his vote in the artifice linked in this tweet:
And Jordan Hall did not release his ballot, but mentioned Hart was the team's backbone all season in the article linked in this tweet:
So from released ballots to reading between lines, it appears like Hart was the hands down #1 for the selection comity.
In years past, this award was always a "slam dunk" easy choice because nobody was beating Claude Giroux. G was a Flyer for 15 years and only in 3 of them was this not the case, his rookie year, then again in 2012(where he played injured for a good chunk of the season, unbeknownst to any fans until the post-season) and of course last year because by the time the award was set to be awarded he was already in Florida.
To me, this one wasn't as clear cut this year. The only thing clear, even from the ballots the couple media members were willing to release, is that there were only two legit choices: Carter Hart or Travis Konecny.
After missing all of the pre-season games with a lower-body injury, Hart started the season on fire, going 5-0-0 in his first 5 games and not suffering a regulation loss until November 10th, almost a whole month into the season. He was winning one goal games, almost single handedly, and had taken the team on his back.
He did eventually cool off a little bit come the middle of November, and he did have injury and illness problems scattered throughout the season, but unlike past years the injuries were more the medical staff being precautious and having him sit out of games to avoid further aggravating the potential injuries and causing lengthier recoveries, and the illnesses were both just one game misses. With the injury whoas, he was always back within 10 games every time he was out; which is different than in years past.
Travis Konecny has had a career year, for sure, leading the team in points(57) and scoring 29 goals on the season with one game still remaining to reach the 30 goal milestone. What likely hurts TK in the MVP race is that he missed a significant amount of time twice with upper-body injuries; both of which appeared to be to the arm/hand/shoulder area. The last one looked like it may end his season, but to his credit he refused to stay down and even when head coach John Tortorella had him counted out for the remainder of the season, he worked his way back, got cleared by the medical staff, and came in and scored two goals in his first two games back.
So did the media select the correct MVP?
I, personally, would have been find seeing them select either player as the team MVP because both made a lot of sense, but Hart deserved the honor, no doubt. The team fed off of huge saves from Hart, and ultimately seemed to win most of the games he played big in; he even stole a few one goal games where the opposing team would pour on the pressure late with their goalie pulled.
TK, on the other hand, was the team's main offensive guy this season. If he wasn't scoring, it usually meant nobody was.(There were bursts here or there where someone like Kevin Hayes, Owen Tippett or Morgan Frost would go on a tear and pick up the slack a bit, but overall, if TK wasn't putting up points, nobody was.)
So I could easily see the argument for either player being named the MVP.
I think what it came down to for the media when making the decision on Team MVP: Hart or Konecny, Hart winning First Star of the game 9 times, Second Star 3 times and Third Star 2 times(56 points, which always awarded him the Toyota Cup), plus missing significantly less injury time than TK is what ultimately helped seal the deal for the media to make their decision. Had TK not missed the amount of time he did, he may be over 30 goals at this point and would made the MVP decision process much more difficult, but unfortunately, that's not how the season unfolded, and injuries and recovery time for both players was likely a key factor in the decision making process.
That's not to diminish Hart's season at all. This was by far his best season, and as stated above, he absolutely deserved team MVP, but without TK's injuries this race may have been a lot closer and the decision may have been a lot harder to make. However, we'll never truly know how that would have ended up. It's not the reality of the situation, and decisions like this one can only be made based off of reality.
The reality had Hart just a bit ahead of Konecny in the media's eyes.
12 AVRIL   |   210 ANSWERS
There Were Truly Only Two Choices for Team MVP, Did Media Get It Right?

Do you think the Media chose the right Team MVP

Yes, Hart 100% deserved it9746.2 %
Nah, TK was robbed5325.2 %
Doesn't matter, both made sense6028.6 %
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