ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Hockey League announced today that Washington Capitals captain and left wing Alex Ovechkin
is one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy, which is presented annually to the player judged most valuable to his team. Ovechkin – who has won the last two Hart Trophies and could join Wayne Gretzky (1980-87) and Bobby Orr (1970-72) as the only players ever to win it three year in a row – joins Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin as the three finalists.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters announced as finalists. 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 VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Ovechkin led the NHL in points per game (1.51) and goals per game (0.69). He finished tied for second in the NHL in points (109) and was one shy of the league lead in goals (50) despite missing 10 games. He led all NHL forwards and was second in the league in plus/minus rating (+45), trailing only teammate Jeff Schultz
. Ovechkin led the league in shots (368) and even-strength goals (37).
He had the fourth-best single-season point total in Capitals history and the franchise’s 10th 50-goal season. His plus/minus rating ranks second in Capitals history.
Named captain Jan. 5, Ovechkin led the Capitals to a 30-4-7 record from that point on as Washington captured its first Presidents’ Trophy for the best record in the league. The Capitals became just the fourth franchise in NHL history to post a 120-point season, finishing 54-15-13 (121 points) and winning a third consecutive Southeast Division title.
Ovechkin – who could become the first player in league history to be named to the NHL First All-Star Team in each of his first five seasons in the league – has scored 269 career goals, more in his first five seasons than any player besides Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux.