Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks forward Henrik Sedin, along with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals were named as the finalists for the 2009-10 Hart Trophy, awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," the National Hockey League announced today. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on CBC.
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
With 112 points – 30 more than his previous career-high – Sedin became the first player in the 40-year history of the Vancouver Canucks franchise to win the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champion. Should he win the Hart Trophy, he also would become the first Canuck to do so. Sedin easily led the League with 83 assists, 14 more than runner-up Joe Thornton of San Jose. Five of Sedin’s career-high 29 goals were game-winners. Henrik Sedin flourished in 2009-10 despite having to play 19 games without his twin brother and career-long linemate Daniel, who missed a large chunk of the season with a broken foot. With a plus-35 rating, Henrik Sedin has been a plus player in every one of his nine NHL seasons with the exception of his minus-2 rookie year.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
The winner of 2007 Hart Trophy, Crosby is completing a remarkable calendar year that began with his winning his first Stanley Cup in June 2009, included scoring the gold-medal winning goal for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in February and scoring 50 goals in an NHL season for the first time. With 51 goals, Crosby tied Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the League lead, capturing his first Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. Six of Crosby’s goals were game-winners. His 109 points ranked second in the NHL to Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin and marked the fourth time in his five-season career that Crosby had eclipsed 100 points. He led the League in face-offs taken (1,791) and won (1,001) and ranked eighth in winning percentage (55.9) among players who took at least 1,000 draws. Named the youngest captain in NHL history on May 31, 2007, Crosby has since led the Penguins to a 139-83-24 record, two appearances in the Final and a Stanley Cup.
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Seeking to become the first player to win three straight Hart Trophies since Wayne Gretzky won a record eight straight from 1980-87, Ovechkin scored 50 goals for the third straight season and the fourth time in his five-year NHL career. Seven of his 50 goals were game-winners. Despite missing a career-high 10 games due to injuries and a suspension, Ovechkin finished three points behind NHL scoring leader Henrik Sedin and one goal behind co-goals leaders Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. He led the League in shots on goal (368) for the fifth straight season and his plus-45 rating was second best in the NHL to teammate Jeff Schultz’ plus-50 and tops among League forwards. Ovechkin’s 185 hits were at least 50 more than any of the NHL’s other top 30 scorers. He was named captain of the Capitals Jan. 5, 2010.
The Hart Memorial Trophy was presented by the National Hockey League in 1960 after the original Hart Trophy was retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The original Hart Trophy was donated to the NHL in 1924 by Dr. David A. Hart, father of Cecil Hart, former manager-coach of the Montreal Canadiens.