2010 Lou Marsh Trophy
The Lou Marsh Trophy, awarded annually to Canada’s top athlete, may be in for a bit of a horse race this year. After Toronto born Joey Votto was granted the 2010 N.L. M.V.P. Monday, competition stiffened enormously.
Votto’s opponent? Chicago Blackhawk’s star captain Jonathan Toews. While garnering one of baseball’s two MVP awards was no easy feat for Votto, being awarded Best Forward at the Vancouver Olympics, Conn Smythe in the 2010 NHL finals, and leading a team to the Stanley Cup was definitely not a walk in the park for Toews either.
So when voting begins in December, how will the panellists decide which star studded athlete is more deserved of the coveted award? Lets break down the statistics between the two athletes.
- Regular Season Games: 150
- Homeruns: 37
- RBI’s: 113
- Walks: 91
- OBP: .401
- Post Season Games: 3
- Regular Season Games: 76
- Goals: 25
- Assists: 43
- +/- +22
- PIM: 47
- Post Season Games: 22
The stats alone from Votto and Toews are impressive, but in this category Votto has the upper hand. Toews finished the 2010 season 35th in points, while Votto nearly won the triple crown in the National League battling against Albert Pujols. 1 for Votto.
However, something can be said for the age in which Toews managed his terrific season. At just 22, Toews is the youngest serving captain in the NHL. Votto, having spent many seasons developing in the AAA is already 27. 1 for Toews.
The difference between hockey and baseball is significant. Both are gruelling sports, one via physical contact, and the other via duration. The NHL’s 82 games, considered along with its sheer intensity and physical aspects, is considered to be a test for most hockey players, especially when young. The MLB’s 162 games on the other hand, with limited breaks on a monthly basis and required extra innings in the case of a tie, is said to be the toughest test in North American Sports. 2 For Votto.
On an accomplishment basis, both players had an excellent year. Votto was consistent all season long, putting up all-star numbers and leading his team to the playoffs, where the Reds would fall short of advancing three games later. Toews had possibly the best year of any hockey player in the world. After another consistent season, Toews helped his team to victory in the Stanley Cup Finals while winning the Conn Smythe. During the Winter Olympics Toews tied Pavol Demitra of Slovakia for the most points in the Vancouver Olympics, and scored the opening goal against U.S.A. in the gold medal game. 2 for Toews.
Quite the horse race indeed. As of these considerations, neither man seems to have the upper hand in the bid for Canada’s most prestigious sports award. Both players had a phenomenal 2010, and will most likely continue to put up Hall of Fame worthy numbers for the rest of their careers. Each player commits to their game. Each player shows heart and perseverance. But if there is one thing that sets one athlete from another, it’s finish. Much like the debate over who’s better between Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, one player has shown the ability to finish and lead their team to glory. Jonathan Toews has the rare feat of winning the Stanley Cup and the Gold Medal for hockey in the same year. Toews is a natural born leader, and a naturally gifted athlete. If anyone deserves the Lou Marsh award in 2010 it is surely Toews for his excellence he has displayed. Votto, who should be a close second for the award, still has lots of time to not only improve his game, but become an outright leader for whatever team he plays on. Either way, both players will go down in history as two of Canada’s greatest athletes in the modern era.
By: Kyle Larkin