Rob Rossi from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review decides to make himself Exhibit C for the irrational northern hockey media establishment. Speaking on who likely leads the chase for MVP of the league at the quarter post of the season, Rossi pens the following gem:
That spot belongs to Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, the NHL leader through Friday in goals and points, according to rankings by ESPN.com and USA Today. Those are subject to personal bias â€” not that Hart Trophy voting by select members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association eliminates that possibility.
Did you see that? Did you see how Rossi lumped statistics, which are the most objective metric of performance we have in sports, in with meaningless MVP power rankings? See that sleight of hand? See the implication that statistics are subject to personal bias, too? It's either clumsy writing, or an inherently dishonest little piece of propagandizing, and my guess is that it's the latter.
That's the lengths some in the northern hockey media establishment are going to go to try to discredit Stamkos, and they'll even go the extra step of pushing the bizarro world argument that Stamkos now is an overhyped media darling. Pay no attention to the fact that the amount of ink and Sportscenter mentions that Crosby gets relative to Stamkos is probably on the order of 20:1. Rossi's got a story about poor, picked on, forgotten Sidney Crosby to peddle and cognitive dissonance be damned! Stamkos is now a Madison Avenue sensation!!!
What a joke.
Again, it's impossible to prove whether Stamkos is a better player than Crosby or Ovechkin, and I don't think anyone from Tampa Bay is pushing that argument. That's not the point. The fact Stamkos, at 20 years old, is forcing the northern hockey media establishment to address the question, is the point. In three years, when he's Crosby's age, or five years, when he's Ovechkin's age, where will he be in his development? Riddle me that, Rossi. If you're as smart as I think you are, considering that little magic trick you just tried to pull in that column, I think you'll realize it's not smart to be one of the media members planting themselves firmly into the anti-Stamkos camp. Don't be on the wrong side of history.