After a 50-goal season -- 19 of which came in the final 16 games -- Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry won the 2010-11 Hart Memorial Trophy as "the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team" during the 2011 NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
Perry is the first player from a Southern California team to win the Hart Trophy since Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky earned the honor with Los Angeles in 1989. He's also just the third player from a California team to win the Hart, joining Gretzky and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton (2006).
"Congratulations to Corey Perry on this tremendous accomplishment," Ducks GM Bob Murray said. "This is a historic day for the Perry family and the entire Anaheim Ducks organization. Corey deserves this terrific honor following a season that defines what the Hart Trophy is all about."
Perry, 26, appeared in all 82 games and led the Ducks with 98 points. He also had a plus-9 rating and 104 penalty minutes. Perry -- who beat out Vancouver's Daniel Sedin and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis to win the Hart -- led the NHL in goal scoring with 50 and also took home the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy on Wednesday as the League's top goal scorer.
"You don't come in expecting it. You come in and whatever happens, happens, I guess," Perry said. "You look at the seasons the other two had, and the only guy to break 100 points in the League in scoring, you never know what to expect. You just come in and have fun with it, I guess."
Perry finished tied for the League lead with 11 game-winning goals and led in third-period tallies (21) and road goals (28). He finished the season ranked third among NHL leaders in scoring and tied for fifth in power play goals (14) and shorthanded goals (4).
He's hoping to top all of those number when the puck drops on the 2011-12 season this October.
"You always want to build on the year before and I think it's a steady increase and hopefully it keeps increasing," Perry said. "You don't want to take a step backwards, you want to keep moving forward and that's what I'm trying to do."
Perry's 50 goals were the most by a Ducks player since Teemu Selanne scored 52 during the 1997-98 season. With Wednesday's announcement, his name will be enscribed on a trophy that also includes name such as Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby and Ovechkin.
"On that trophy, it's a pretty remarkable list," Perry said. "It's going to take some time to sink in.
"I'm an emotional person and it's like going back when we won the Stanley Cup. I cried after that, you know … it's just personal."