Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 have nothing on the 2006 Hart Trophy balloting in the way of voting irregularities. Which is to say you don't have to be named Chad to believe a gross injustice was done to Jaromir Jagr, the officially designated MVP runner-up to Joe Thornton in a vote that somehow wasn't even very close.Nevermind that, according to the AP, "Thornton won the MVP in a close vote of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, finishing with 1,058 points to Jagr's 974." The article gets better as the accusations fly:
Somehow, 32 of the 129 members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association who cast ballots for this year's awards - many after the first two games of the playoffs, but more on that later - did not vote for Jagr as one of the two most valuable players in the league. That essentially accounts for a full quarter of the electorate. Perhaps these individuals were all too busy grinding an axe somewhere.
Somehow, one of the voters chose to omit Jagr's name entirely from the five-man ballot. Perhaps Washington GM George McPhee wrangled a vote from the PHWA.
Regarding that first point, ever hear of Miikka Kiprusoff? Taking for a moment that Brooks is ok with Jumbo Joe receiving a top-two spot on any given ballot, is it so outrageous to think that one out of every four hockey journos considered a goalie who single-handedly carried his team to a division title more valuable than a forward who, along with a phenomenal netminder, couldn't finish better than third in their division? I shouldn't think so.
Regarding that second point, unless Brooks has some concrete evidence of his accusation (couched with the qualifier "perhaps"), he might want to back off a defamatory claim of tampering.
Brooks continues with his tin-foil-hat "journalism":
It was easy to see Thornton's victory coming, what with the plethora of anti-Jagr propaganda that flooded the papers and Internet over the last week of the season. Some of it was anti-Jagr, some of it was anti-New York, some of it was a manifestation of chauvinism, and somehow enough of it stuck to not only deprive No. 68 of the Hart but to make what should have been a tight race into a landslide.As pointed out above, the race was hardly a landslide, considering that Jagr had 92% of the voting points that Thornton had. But the coup de grace comes soon thereafter, when an exasperated Brooks, arbitor of fairness and justice, reveals a little something about his own practice and the article leaps from sour grapes to bat-shit crazy:
I voted for Jagr and designated Thornton fifth on my ballot.Pot. Kettle. Blech.
[Hat tip to fjc33 for the link]