Top MVP Candidate for Every NHL Team

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Top MVP Candidates from Every NHL Team

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Every hockey player dreams of holding a Stanley Cup someday. That's the ultimate prize that every NHL player plays for. It's the reason they get back on the ice after breaking a nose or finger. It's why they will sacrifice their body in an attempt to stop a 100 mph puck flying at the goalie. Every year, an entire team lays claim to the ultimate prize and gets their name etched in the history books as a champion.

Although an entire team wins the Stanley Cup trophy, there's only one select individual out of the 30 different teams that will be selected as the NHL MVP for the entire season. That means that for entire season, one individual proved they stood above everyone else. For 82 games, they are among the league leaders in points, assists and goals.

The MVP trophy, or the Hart Memorial Trophy, is given to such an individual every year. Currently, Alexander Ovechkin is the the holder of the title MVP. Since its beginning in 1924, the award has been given out 88 times to 54 different players. Gordie Howe won the award six different times while Wayne Gretzky claimed the honors nine times, including eight in the 1980s. Ovechkin has won the award three times.

With the NHL season just getting started, the race for MVP wide open, up for grabs to whoever wants to take it. With that in mind, I decided to put together a list of each teams' candidate for MVP this season.

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Anaheim Ducks - Ryan Getzlaf

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Although Getzlaf has started to a relatively slow start in the first four games of the young season, that will change quickly. Getzlaf is always at the top of the the scoring leaders for the Ducks year in and year out.

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Boston Bruins - Tuukka Rask

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With all the firepower this team has on the offensive side of the puck, I still believe the best player on the ice is between the pipes for the Boston Bruins. The whole world got to watch him last spring as he led Boston to the Stanley Cup Finals. Rask could become only the seventh goalie to win the award.

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Buffalo Sabres - Thomas Vanek

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Vanek has been the Buffalo captain for a reason -- he is a leader for the Sabres. If Buffalo is going to go anywhere this season, they're going to have to ride the big shoulders of Vanek to get there.

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Calgary Flames - Lee Stempniak

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This 30-year old winger has to step up now that Jerome Iginla and Mike Cammalleri are both gone from the team. Stempniak led the team in assists last season.

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Carolina Hurricanes - Eric Staal

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In his nine seasons with Carolina, Staal has been pretty consistent with his goal scoring. He should be able to have between 40 and 50 points for the Hurricanes this season, and that's on the low end.

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Chicago Blackhawks - Patrick Kane

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On a team with so many weapons offensively and defensively, it's hard to single out one particular person for an MVP candidate. Kane is my choice, though, as he continues to show veteran leadership. Kane is a leader for the Blackhawks with his scoring and playmaking ability.

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Colorado Avalanche - P.A. Parenteau

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Parenteau leads the Avalanche with three goals so far this season. He also led the team in goals and points last season with 18 and 45 respectively.

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Columbus Blue Jackets - Marian Gaborik

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Gaborik leads the Blue Jackets in points, goals and assists this season and it probably won't change much by the end of the season.

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Dallas Stars - Jamie Benn

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With Loui Eriksson gone, the Dallas Stars became Jamie Benn's team. Paired with newly-acquired Tyler Seguin, Benn should benefit and could possibly see career numbers this season.

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Detroit Red Wings - Pavel Datsyuk

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Datsyuk has been a staple in Detroit for the past 11 seasons. At age 35, he's not showing any signs of letting up either. Look for Datsyuk to have another very productive year for the Red Wings.

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Edmonton Oilers - Jordan Eberle

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The 23-year old Eberle has show signs of brilliance in his short career. The year before the lockout, he finished the season with 76 points. During last year's lockout, he had 37 points in 48 games.

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Florida Panthers - Thomas Fleischmann

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Fleischmann has led the Panthers in scoring since he joined the team two years ago. Look for that trend to continue this season has he tries to help Florida get back to the playoffs.

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Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick

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Like Tuukka Rask, Jonathan Quick made a name for himself during the Stanley Cup run in 2012. Quick took the eighth-seeded Kings all the way to the Finals and they won the Stanley Cup.

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Minnesota Wild - Zach Parise

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Parise has lived up to the huge contract so far. Last season, he had 38 points in 48 games for the Wild. So far this year, he's already got four goals in five games.

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Montreal Canadiens - Max Pacioretty

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In 2011-12, Pacioretty had his breakout season for the Canadiens as he had 65 points in 79 games played. Last year in 44 games, he had 39 points.

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Nashville Predators - Patric Hornqvist

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The 26-year-old winger is my choice for the Predators. In only 24 games last year, he put together 14 points for Nashville. If he stays healthy this year, Hornqvist could have a breakout season.

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New Jersey Devils - Patrick Elias

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At 37-years old, Elias is another player that doesn't care about age. Elias is still playing at a very high level for the Devils. Before the lockout, Elias had 78 points in 81 games, and the season before that he had 62 in 81 games.

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New York Islanders - John Tavares

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At age 23, Tavares has led the Islanders in points each of his first four seasons. In 2011-12, he finished with 81 points in 82 games for New York. Last season, he had 47 points in 48 games.

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New York Rangers - Brad Richards

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Richards, a former Conn Smythe Winner and Stanley Cup Champion, continues to play at a high level for the Rangers. Richards is hoping he can help New York return to the playoffs and have another shot at the Stanley Cup.

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Ottawa Senators - Kyle Turris

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So far this season, Turris is averaging a point a game. Only four games into the season, it's not feasible to expect that he'll keep up that pace. Turris could have a breakout season for the Senators this year.

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Philadelphia - Vincent LeCavalier

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LeCavalier is no stranger to success. A part of the Stanley Cup champions in Tampa Bay, he had some huge seasons in his career. He has had seasons in which he has finished with 108 and 92 points. Philadelphia is hoping he can rekindle some of the magic and get the Flyers back into the playoffs and Stanley Cup contention.

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Phoenix Coyotes - Shane Doan

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Shut out so far this season, it shouldn't be long before Doan is on the score sheet for the Coyotes. It was only a couple seasons ago that he was putting up 50- and 60-point seasons.

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Pittsburgh Penguins - Sidney Crosby

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In many ways, Crosby is the face of the NHL right now. Whether you like him or not, it's hard to dispute that he's a phenomenal player. Crosby and Malkin make a lethal combination for any goaltender to try and stop.

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San Jose Sharks - Tomas Hertl

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Chances are you had never heard of the youngster before this season. Now, Tomas Hertl is the talk of the NHL season. In five games played, he has seven goals and eight assists.

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St. Louis Blues - Alex Pietrangelo

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So far, Pietrangelo is averaging more than one point a game, which is good news for St. Louis. At only 23 years of age, he has a lot of growth still and should only get better over time.

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Tampa Bay Lightning - Steven Stamkos

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When he was only 21-years old, Stamkos put up 97 points for the Lightning. Last year, in only 48 games, he finished with 57 points. In five games this year, he already has seven points.

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Toronto Maple Leafs - Phil Kessel

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In 2011-12, Kessel averaged a point a game as he finished with 82 points in 82 games. Last season, he was better than a point a game with 52 in 48. Who knows what he'll finish with this season, but Toronto fans are excited to watch him play.

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Vancouver Canucks - Daniel Sedin

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Anytime you talk about the Canucks, you must take into consideration the Sedin twins. Whether it's Daniel or Henrik, both are capable of putting the puck in the back of the net or assisting so someone else can.

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Washington Capitals - Alexander Ovechkin

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As the defending MVP, there's nobody else on the Capitals that could steal it away from him. Ovechkin has won the award three times already and it probably wouldn't surprise anyone if he won it for the fourth time this year.

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Winnipeg Jets - Andrew Ladd

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Since coming over from Chicago, Ladd has had seasons of 59, 50 and 46 points for the Thrashers/Jets. Ladd will hope to lead Winnipeg to the playoffs in a tough Western Conference this year.

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