Players

Artemi Panarin deserves Hart Trophy consideration

He is clearly the player most valuable to his team

Artemi Panarin is 61 games into his massive seven year deal signed with the New York Rangers this offseason, and he has already set a career high in goals (32) and is closing in on career highs in assists and points. Barring injury, Panarin will set career highs in all three categories before the season is over. He has been worth every penny the Rangers have spent, yet his season is barely spoken about outside of New York.

Sure, his line of 32-53-85 is still 14 points behind Leon Draisaitl (all assists), but since when is the Hart Trophy automatically awarded to the highest scorer in the league? Sure it’s common, but the Hart Trophy is awarded to the player deemed most valuable to his team. And to this I ask: Where would the Rangers be without Panarin?

Before even getting into stats, let’s just look at Panarin’s linemates. Panarin has played almost the entire season with Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast on his line. Draisaitl? Mostly with Conor McDavid. David Pastrnak? He’s got Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. No slight to Strome and Fast, but McDavid and Marchand they are not. Panarin drives that entire line almost single handedly.

Panarin’s 32 goals are 15% of the Rangers’ 206 goals. Panarin’s 85 points are 15% of the Rangers skater points (556). Those are in all situations, including powerplay.

But it’s at even strength where Panarin really has earned Hart consideration. Panarin has 55 points at even strength (21-34-55) is again 15% of the Blueshirts’ 364 even strength points. When we talk about primary points (goals, first assists), Panarin’s 21-18-39 represents 15% of the even strength goals and 15% of the even strength points. Sensing a theme?

Remember, this is with Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast. Panarin rarely plays with Mika Zibanejad, only on the powerplay.

Panarin had been overlooked for some time because the Rangers were a bottom feeder team for the first 2-3 months of the season. Now they are just four points out of the final playoff spot with three games in hand on the Blue Jackets. They are also two points back of Carolina, although they have no games in hand.

So again the question is – where would the Rangers be without 15% of their offense?

Not in this position, that’s for sure.

Panarin deserves Hart consideration. Even if this run doesn’t end with a surprise playoff berth.

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  • Agree with all of the above but will add he’s also a very good defensive player. He is so good with his stick and a lot of times his offense starts from making a solid defensive play.

    • He’s the first truly elite player the Rangers have had on the roster in his prime since … ? The guy is everything you could ask for: a lethal shooter, a dynamic playmaker, defensively responsible (I’ll forgive him for the few times he takes a risk and loses), a great example for young players, someone who never quits, and who rarely stops smiling. His choosing the Rangers really brought excitement back to the Garden.

  • The Hart is for the most valuable player to his team, so who in the entire NHL is more valuable to his team than Breadman????????

    Ovie, Cindy, Kane, are all surrounded by some very outstanding players. Without Bread, where would this team be? Not to put anyone down, but Artie personifies the meaning of MVP, and should get it, if the team makes, or not makes the PO’s!!!!!!!!!!!

    FYI, this is coming from a guy who had questions about his signing to a huge contract, man was I wrong…………

  • Hi, My Name is Pas44 and I am NOT running for President.

    But I AGREE & ENDORSE with this message – oh yeah baby!

    LGR!!!!

  • Exhibit 1: 62 16 39 55 (Career High for 3rd line player)
    Exhibit 2: 61 11 16 27 (about to break Career High for 4th line player)

  • If this rebuilding team makes the playoffs, bread should be the heavy favorite. If not, maybe one chance in ten the voters don’t just awarded MVP to the guy with the most points.Idon’t think they have the smarts to see past it. Nobody really reads the Hart qualification literally.

  • I know everyone hates plus/minus, but the bread man is #2 in the league and no other MVP contender is even in his neighborhood. This is on a marginal defensive team and with middle-three type line mates. Impressive.

  • I was like are they crazy when I seen the signing terms . Knew he was a good sniper but never really actually watched him closely . This guy does everything right 95% of the time and when it goes wrong he’s still in the play battling to correct his mistaken play . Strome’s stock has risen as a result and he’s mediocre at best. Way better then the other Ryan we swapped him for but makes way to many bonehead plays and takes way to many penalties.

    KS!

  • As much as I have sworn off Panera Bread for being a very high carb and overpriced place to dine, I am all in on Breadman for MVP/Heart Trophy. He is a player that makes all those around him into much more productive players and compared to pricing at Panera Bread, Panarin just keeps on producing and making others around him considerably better.

  • The most amazing player on this team since Jagr. Jagr had size and strength to help his game, Breadman does it with great talent and an extremely high hockey IQ.

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