The Hart Memorial Trophy is named in honor of Canadian Dr. David Hart. Dr. Hart, who donated the original trophy to the NHL, was the father of Cecil Hart, a former Coach and General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club. The Hart Trophy was first awarded at the conclusion of the 1923–24 NHL season.
The original trophy, which looked quite a bit differently than today, was retired in 1960 after Hart's death. The Hart Memorial Trophy replaced it and is still used today.
Here is some Hart Trophy Trivia
- Wayne Gretzky won the league's MVP award a record 9 times, 8 of them consecutively. That is a record for MVP awards in all of professional sports in North America. Who has the second most MVP awards? (looking at NHL, MLB, NBA and NFL). Answer - This will probably be controversial. Barry Bonds of baseball won 7 MVP awards, although 4 of them may have been with the help of steroids. Until they take the awards away from him, he will rank behind Gretzky for the most. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (NBA) and Gordie Howe have 6 MVP awards
- Of all eligible players (excluding active players) who have won the Hart Trophy, only three have not been included in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Can you name them? Cowboy Tom Anderson (1942), Al Rollins (1954) and Eric Lindros (1995). Lindros has only be eligible for one season and may yet make the Hall of Fame.
- Gordie Howe won the Hart Trophy 6 times in his career. How many times did Rocket Richard win the Hart Trophy? Answer - Just once, in 1947. That was Gordie Howe's rookie season.
- 1990 saw the closest Hart Trophy balloting ever. Mark Messier beat Ray Bourque by how many votes? Answer - 2 votes
- In saying "the league's MVP," the Hart Trophy more specifically is supposed to go the player deemed most valuable to his own team. Name the only player who won the award despite being traded mid-season and playing on two teams. Answer: Joe Thornton, who was traded from Boston to San Jose in 2006.