HANK FOR HART
After much anticipation and speculation at the conclusion of the regular season, it is official: Henrik Sedin is named as a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, given to the player most valuable to his team.
The winner is selected in a poll by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association in the 30 NHL cities at the end of the regular season.
The winner of the trophy will be announced at the 2010 NHL Awards, to be held in Las Vegas on June 23. The ceremony will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
This is Sedin's first career Hart nomination, and it comes on the heels of him winning the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's regular-season scoring leader with 112 points. He had 29 goals and a League-leading 83 assists in 82 games, the fifth-straight season Sedin hasn't missed a game.
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are the other finalists for the award.
"It's a great honour for sure," said Sedin. "Just to be named in the same sentence as those guys, I couldn't even imagine that. It feels good for sure."
Ovechkin is the reigning Hart winner, having won the honour the last two seasons. Crosby won in 2007, as a sophomore in the NHL.
Sedin became the first player in Vancouver's 40-year history to win the Art Ross, and he broke the franchise single-season high in points, passing Pavel Bure (110 in 1992-93). Sedin also became the Canucks' all-time leader in assists and now has 434 in nine seasons.
Sedin is bidding to become the first Canuck to win the Hart. Roberto Luongo placed second in 2006-07, Markus Naslund was second in 2002-03 and fifth in 2003-04 and 2001-02, Todd Bertuzzi was fifth in 2002-03, and Kirk McLean was fourth in 1991-92.
He was also recognized as the team's most valuable player voted on by the fans, winning this year's Cyclone Taylor Trophy, awarded at the last regular season game.
"[To win] would be a bonus for sure but I'm happy with this. We'll see what happens in June." - Henrik on the prospect of winning the award.
"No, why should I go?" - Daniel's humourous response to whether he'd go to Las Vegas with his brother.
"It's great, we're all happy for him and we all hope he wins. He's had a fantastic season - it's well deserved so it's nice to see a guy who works that hard get rewarded." - Roberto Luongo's thoughts on the announcement.
"He got a standing ovation from his teammates this morning. I think everybody's proud and happy for him. It's obviously a reflection of his commitment and his hard work. I think it's also a reflection on his teammates - they were there to help him out and support him so it's a great honour for him and the whole group." - Coach V on Henrik getting recognition.