Martin St. Louis - 2011 NHL Hart Trophy finalist

There is still debate to be had about the 2011 NHL Hart Trophy... But one debate is over: If Martin St. Louis, the engine that makes the Tampa Bay Lightning go, should be among the nominees for the National Hockey League's Most Valuable Player award.

With the announcement that Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks, and St. Louis are the three finalists for the award, the debate if Marty belonged is now over.

He should remain part of the discussion about the ultimate award winner.  Already the conversation has turned into "Sedin or Perry?" and "Perry or Sedin?"  Marty is presented as the longshot to win the award, what would be his second Hart Trophy of his career.

That almost seems fitting, though.  St. Louis is the undersized after thought of a threat that sneaks up on you.  He's the silent partner that makes everyone around him better.

One last clarification:  This award is not for overall season / post-season performance, but for the regular season.  So if Marty or Daniel Sedin raise the Cup, it wouldn't be further reason why either should win the award.  The playoff MVP will ultimately own the Conn Smythe trophy.  The Hart is a different beast all together.

Congratulations to Marty, and good luck to all three candidates.