A simple question to which I gave a simple answer and was planning on going about my day until I was met with internet repliers who haven't been paying attention to arguably the NHL's best team, the Florida Panthers
Full disclosure, yes my brother is employed by the Panthers, but that has nothing to do with this. Further disclosure (because integrity #BurrataGang) I do have a Huberdeau for Hart future at +900 on the Barstoolsportsbook App which is legal and live in the state of Illinois if you wish to bet responsibly.
Neither one of those facts have anything to do with the fact that Huberdeau should ABSOLUTELY be in the MVP discussion. It's honestly preposterous that he is not at this point.
To the person who said "he is not even having the best season on his own team"...I LOVE Barkov. I have been banging the drum about him long before my brother had a job with Florida
Okay? This isn't about Barkov or some bias.
There are three undeniable truths about awards
1) you really need to play close to a full season and Barkov has missed 13 games so far this year. I wouldn't pick Huberdeau over Barkov if I was starting a team from scratch, but we are just talking about this season alone.
2) You have to be on one of the best teams in the league
3) Offense, offense, offense.
Huberdeau is at the top of the league in scoring. His 86 points are good enough for 3rd in the NHL behind only McDavid and Draisaitl and he is a HUGE reason why the Panthers just kept on rolling even though they've missed games from Barkov, Duclair, Bennet, etc. Huberdeau has been the constant. He has been a weapon every night and can drives offense and possession by himself sometimes. The guy is absolutely electric.
The 4th rule of awards is that you need to play in a major market which is why Auston Matthews is +125 and Igor Shestyorkin is at +300. Igor has had an incredible year and should definitely be the discussion, but if he were playing in Florida he'd be +1500 and Rangers fans wouldn't know who he is let alone be able to spell his name. That is just the reality. It shouldn't be that way. Huberdeau deserves to be above Matthews and probably above Igor just based on performance and playing every single night.
Nobody will mistake Huberdeau for Hossa on the ice defensively, but he's not nearly as bad as people say. He's gotten better each of the last few years. Definitely room for improvement there, but again…offense is what drives awards and always will. That is why Brett Burns, Erik Karlsson, and PK Subban all have a Norris trophy. They didn't get those trophies for being shut down dmen. I don't make the rules, but that is what it is. If we are playing by the standard that exists in NHL awards then there is no way anyone should be pushing Matthews over Huberdeau. Huberdeau is the best passer in the league. Nobody right now makes their teammates better than Huberdeau. He is a walking assist off the rush and the cycle. A dominant offensive on what should end up being the East's best team. It's just that the Panthers don't get attention that they should. Since I have this platform I want to change that because if you like watching hockey you should be trying to watch Huberdeau every single chance you get.