Nathan MacKinnon emerging as Hart Trophy contender after years of stalled development

The Avalanche center deserves to be in the NHL MVP conversation.

A year ago around this juncture, Nathan MacKinnon was “stressed all the time.” The Avalanche forward was struggling in the midst of a disastrous season where seemingly nothing went right, and it was starting to get to his head.

Losing takes a toll on you,” MacKinnon said last January, when the Avs were mired in a run of 19 losses in 21 games. “Obviously we’re blessed to play this game and we’re fortunate, but...

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