If you grew up in the 80's, as I did, you'll no doubt remember The Wonder Years. In this show, it seemed inevitable for years that Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper would eventually end up together. It was obvious. It was destined. They belonged together. The world just didn't seem right with the two of them apart. But, alas, after years of heart-break, Winnie eventually moved away. And that was it.
Not since this colossal struggle of emotions has there been a pair of individuals that just couldn't find each other, despite the obvious need to be together. Until now. Until Nicklas Lidstrom and the Hart Trophy. Why these two haven't been able to find each other over the years just baffled me. Befuddles me. Bamboozles me.
Lidstrom has been the most dominant defensemen of the past decade. No competent hockey fan will dispute that fact. He has shutdown opponents, scored consistently, and brought Stanley Cups and Presidents Trophies to a downtrodden town for over a decade. So why, through 17 years of league domination, has this superstar never met the Hart. Or even been nominated for it?
Lidstrom will ultimately be appreciated most when he's finally gone. I've been waiting (and yes, praying) for the collapse of the Redwings for a long, long time now. But until Lidstrom decides to take up another hobby fulltime, it just will not happen. If you need proof of this, or more proof that he has been robbed silly of his due prize, just look at the Detroit's record over the past 2 years when he wasn't in the lineup. Last season, he missed a stretch in early spring, which coincidently coincided with a major losing streak for the Wings. This season, he only missed 4 games, but again, they struggled without him.
In retrospect, maybe the league would like to consider a re-do on giving the hardware to Jose Theodore in 2002 or more offensively, giving it to Chris Pronger in 2000. At the very least, can we scratch his name in the empty 2005 spot from the lockout year, just so I can go back to thinking about The Wonder Years?