Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Hockey fans around the league are debating which man should take home the Hart Trophy, the award given to the player judged to be the most influential for his team during the regular season. Depending on your interpretation of the award, odds are you're torn between several worthy candidates.  Which player would Wayne Gretzky pick if he was given the authority? According to a recent interview with Hockey Night in Canada radio, he'd hand the award to Alex Ovechkin. Gretzky is pretty familiar with the Hart Trophy. During his career he won the award a record nine times. This included an unbelievable run where he secured the Hart in eight consecutive seasons. With that in mind, it's always interesting to see how he evaluates the best players in the NHL. While he gives his endorsement to Ovechkin, he would completely understand if Chicago's Jonathan Toews took the Hart home.  The good folks over at Russian Machine Never Breaks have Gretzky's quotes in their entirety if you'd rather avoid listening to an entire radio show to hear them.   "Listen, first of all, had Crosby not been hurt, I think he would have been a unanimous choice. And he still may win the award. He was so remarkable in the games he played. I don’t think anyone’s going to question it if Jonathan Toews wins [the Hart]. He takes faceoffs, he kills penalties. On the power play he’s an instrumental leader for that hockey club. He’s sorta the heartbeat of that team. He does it in a classy way. He’s just a wonderful player. So he’s going to get a lot of votes. From my side of things, I look at Alexander Ovechkin. You look at the Hart trophy and what it means. And it means what player could you take away from that team and they wouldn’t have the success they had. And I think that people forget that he had three coaches in a 12 month period and I think that’s difficult for any player — especially an offensive-minded player. He struggled without question the first 20 games. And I think the final 28 games he finally got his confidence back. I don’t think there’s any coincidence that they were below .500, then as soon as he’s able to play at the level he’s capable of, they became a different team. I don’t think anybody’s going to be disappointed if either Toews or Ovechkin wins. Those would be my two guys that I would vote for. If Columbus made the playoffs, obviously that goaltender deserved a lot more attention than he would get." Some interesting insight from #99. He falls into the camp that believes Crosby's injury and missed time should cost him the Hart. He also believes that what Toews does on the defensive side of the puck and in the faceoff circle could and should be recognized. Finally, Gretzky's argument is that the Capitals were a pretty dismal team while Ovechkin was struggling, but they found their form at the same time he started lighting the lamp. Finally, he mentions that the goaltender out in Columbus would deserve more attention if the Blue Jackets made the playoffs. Poor Sergei Bobrobsky. No one remembers your name even you're mentioned in a discussion for the Hart Trophy. [follow]  
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Twins to limit players' smartphone use on game days

Shane Battier: Carmelo Anthony is not that tough to guard

Ronda Rousey would be 'happy' to fight Cat Zingano again

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans after loss

Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency?


Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184, keeps MMA rumors alive

Dick Vitale will not call Duke-UNC rematch either

PHOTO: Auburn coaches, players wear ribbons for Mason

Dustin Penner apologizes after sending rape joke on Twitter

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Durant blasts Instagram hater for Westbrook comment

Three potential big signings the Steelers could make

Kevin Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for Timberwolves fans

Michigan fan has incredible Charles Woodson tattoo

WATCH: NIU C brings down basket on dunk

McCown plans to embrace mentoring role with Manziel

Chris Sale out three weeks with foot injury

NHL analyst calls out media over Blackhawks report

Alabama recruits aim to bring the dynasty back

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Twins to limit game day cell phone use

Kevin Durant blasts hater on Instagram

KG buys 1,000 tickets for T-Wolves fans

Markieff Morris calls out Suns fans

Cowboys letting Murray test market?

Brock Lesnar attends UFC 184

Rousey beats Zingano in 14 seconds

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.