PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 02: Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers speaks to the media after Game Three of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Claude Giroux isn't one of the three finalists for the Hart Trophy, and while there seems to be a lot of outrage over that this afternoon, I don't see it as a big deal. It's not that he's undeserving of a nod as a finalist, but in the end, a nomination simply doesn't make all that big of a difference.
The Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted their Hart ballots at the end of the regular season. From those ballots, the top-3 vote-getters are announced as finalists. Then, the winner is announced at the NHL Awards show in June. Claude Giroux probably finished fourth in the balloting. Would it have been nice if he finished second or third, thus getting the recognition as a finalist? Yes, absolutely. In the end, though, does it really make a difference at all? Third place versus fourth place?
He's not going to win the award. That title has been Malkin's for months. Giroux outplayed Malkin in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, but that has zero bearing on the voting process. If he's not going to win it in the end, I can't say I necessarily care where he falls on the list.