CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks said Saturday they would have liked for Patrick Kane and/or Jonathan Toews to be named a Hart Memorial Trophy finalist, but they weren’t going to make a big deal out of it.
“I don’t know if I feel disrespected,” Kane, who led the team with 55 regular-season points, said. "I think everyone who got named is very deserving of the award. Crosby had an unbelievable season. Ovechkin pretty much single-handedly led his team to the playoffs. And maybe you can say the same about Tavares, too.
“I don’t know. I think maybe a little bit more recognition for the team would have been nice if myself or Johnny maybe got nominated. Other than that, you’re not going to worry about it too much.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville thought a Western Conference player should have been included among the finalists.
“Someone wrote an article [Friday] that they should have had one from each side since we didn’t play the other side,” Quenneville said. “Three guys from the other side, we didn’t get to play [them] -- tough to comment. On our side, those two guys had outstanding seasons, were a big part of our success. Definitely should have gotten consideration. Maybe one takes away from the other. You could probably put that in [the] equation as well. Both guys were definitely worthy of that consideration in my eyes.”
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said Kane’s and Toews’ exclusion from the Hart finalists doesn’t change how their teammates feel about them.
“We know in this locker room how valuable they are and the kind of individual seasons they had,” Sharp said. “A lot of people in here would like to see them there, me included, but having said that, I don’t think you can argue with the three guys who are nominated. They’re all great players. We definitely appreciate Jonathan and Patrick.”
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford had similar feelings. He was also surprised Brandon Saad had been the only Chicago player named a finalist for any of the awards. Saad made the Calder Memorial Trophy final list.
“Our team was so good this year -- especially those two guys are, year-round, so consistent,” Crawford said. “We were definitely rooting for them. I’m sure a lot of guys voted for them for one of the awards. It’s definitely surprising when your team does so well during the year, and you get one guy that’s nominated for something. That’s definitely surprising. You know? Whatever. It’s not going to change what we do in the playoffs.”