I recently wrote a piece compiling a roster of the greatest players to never receive a Hart trophy vote. This time let’s examine some of the strangest or most undeserved votes over the past three decades. We’ll choose three players per decade and keep it to players with just a single vote because it means that voter was completely isolated in their outlier (and probably homer) opinion. There are tons of weird votes out there. No, I don’t think Dion Phaneuf should have gotten a 2nd place vote in 08 but that person had him first on their Norris ballot so if you want to say the best D in the game is 2nd in voting I at least understand the thought process and logic behind the decision. If you want to say that the year Draper was the best defensive forward in the game he gets a 5th place vote I don’t agree, but I at least get where the voter is coming from.


Trevor Linden, 1992

  • 1 second place vote
  • 31 goals, 75 points

Despite the fact that Linden was the leading scorer on a Canucks team that won their division, I find it a little hard to believe that a player who finished 42nd overall in scoring is really deserving of a second place vote. For reference that same season Mario had 44 goals for 131 points and Brett Hull put up 70 goals for 109 points and neither of them even came close to winning the award.

Eric Lindros, 1993

  • 1 third place vote
  • 41 goals, 75 points

Let’s be clear Eric Lindros was an absolutely dominant force in the NHL and when he actually won his Hart Trophy he deserved it but this vote was way premature. He finished 4th for rookie of the year, but someone chose him as 3rd for MVP? Three players alone that season either doubled or almost doubled his point total with Oates, Lafontaine and Lemieux all finishing in the 142 – 160 point range. Scoring isn’t everything but it’s difficult to justify giving a 3rd place vote to a forward player who finished 68th in league scoring.

Byron Dafoe, 1998

  • 1 second place vote
  • 30-25, .914 SV%, 2.24 GAA

Dafoe got a second place vote despite finishing third for the Vezina and despite the fact that 5 other goalies who got Hart votes all had more wins, less losses, and high save percentage. This voter gave Dafoe a second place vote in a year no one else even considered him a top 5 candidate. Hasek won the MVP, Jagr broke 100 points when barely anyone else even sniffed 90, and a young Martin Brodeur put up an insane 43-17 season. Dafoe was great but second most valuable player in the sport is a stretch.


Chris Simon, 2000

  • 1 third place vote
  • 29 goals, 49 points

The man that inspired this list. I was shocked when I saw he had received a Hart vote and it inspired me to do the research and uncover other peculiar votes. Whoever gave Simon this must love the old school enforcer mentality because it allowed one of the all time dirtiest players the game has ever seen to finish just ahead of Hall of Famers Joe Sakic and Brendan Shanahan in in the Hart race. Despite spending a lot of his career running around the ice trying to intentionally injure opponents Simon did manage to squeak into the top 100 in league scoring this season. Even with this best offensive season and Washington’s strong regular season performance, this vote just doesn’t make any sense.  

Marek Svatos, 2006

  • 1 fifth place vote
  • 32 goals, 50 points

In a season where 14 players had 90+ points Svatos had 50. I’m not quite sure how he got a vote over any of them let alone the countless other players that had better years. Finishing 127th in league scoring this goes down as one of the league prolific seasons to ever somehow garner a Hart vote.

Brendan Shanahan, 2007

  • 1 third place vote
  • 29 goals, 62 points

Shanahan actually had a pretty nice season putting up solid numbers despite missing 15 games but this vote feels a little rooted on nostalgia for a start nearing the end of his career. Fourteen players that season had between 90-125 points and some of them got 0 votes. I find it hard to justify Shanahan getting a vote over any of them let alone all but two.


Craig Anderson, 2010

  • 1 first place vote
  • 38 wins, 25 losses, .917 SV%, 2.62 GAA

The 2010s had better overall voting than the past few decades but this goes down as one of the all-time weirdest. Over 2,000 total votes given out and Craig Anderson gets 1… and it’s a first place vote. Even amongst the other goalies to get votes that year he had more losses, less wins and weaker stats across the board. He helped Colorado to a strong finish, but it’s baffling that someone considered him the most valuable player in all of hockey when many of his pears had stronger seasons and in a year where Sid and Ovi both put up 50+ goals and 109 points and Henrik Sedin lead the league with 112.

Ilya Kovalchuk, 2013

  • 1 fourth place vote
  • 11 goals, 31 points

How Kovalchuk got a vote despite missing 11 games in an already lockout shortened 2012-2013 season is just strange. He finished below a point per game, didn’t score much and finished in a 10-way tie for 75th in league scoring. Oh yeah and he finished in an even more thrilling 22-way tie for 93rd in goal scoring.

Alex Ovechkin, 2017

  • 1 second place vote
  • 33 goals, 69 points

The best player on this list and it’s not even close but this is some insane favoritism and bias if I’ve ever seen it. This same season McDavid scored 30 goals and 100 points (no one else even hit 90) and Crosby put up 40 goals and 89 points. Someone giving their 2nd place vote to Ovi over a field of McDavid or Sid is enough evidence alone to make this an awful vote. For a man whose bread and butter is scoring goals finishing tied for 13th in goal scoring and tied for 20th in points just isn’t deserving of second most valuable player in the league.