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Perry Named Hart Trophy Finalist

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks announced today that right wing Corey Perry has been named a finalist for the 2010-11 Hart Memorial Trophy by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA). The Hart Trophy is awarded annually “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22 during the NHL Awards from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. Perry is attempting to join Wayne Gretzky (1988-89) as the only players from the local market (Ducks and Kings) to win the league’s most valuable player award.

“Congratulations to Corey on this very well-deserved honor,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “His heart, work ethic and clutch performances all season make him a tremendous candidate for this award.”

Watch Corey Perry Highlights

Perry, 25 (5/16/85), becomes just the third player in Ducks history to be named a finalist for the award (no Duck has won the trophy). Fellow teammate Teemu Selanne was a Hart Trophy finalist in 1997-98 (finished third in voting), while Paul Kariya was the runner-up (second in voting) following the 1996-97 season. Only six other players from California-based teams have been Hart Trophy finalists in the history of the NHL. Of those six, two have won the award (Gretzky in 1988-89 with Los Angeles and Joe Thornton in 2005-06 with San Jose). One of only two Ducks to appear in all 82 games in 2010-11, Perry won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer with a career-high 50 goals and 98 points (50-48=98, +9 rating). He became just the second Ducks player to win the Richard Trophy (also Selanne in 1998-99).

A native of Peterborough, Ontario, Perry’s 50 goals in 2010-11 were the most by a Ducks player since Selanne had 52 in 1997-98. Among league leaders, he also ranked third in points and tied for fifth in power play goals (14) and shorthanded goals (4). In addition, his 11 game-winning goals co-led the league (also Washington’s Alex Ovechkin). His 22:18 average time-on-ice ranked second among all NHL forwards and first among all right wingers. Perry also led the league with 21 third period goals (no other player had more than 18 – San Jose’s Patrick Marleau) and was tops with 23 third period/overtime goals. His 21 third period goals were also the most in Ducks history (Selanne had 19 in 1996-97) and the most by any Western Conference player since Jonathan Cheechoo (SJ) had 21 in 2005-06. Over the last 20 games of the regular season, Perry led the NHL in goals and points (19-12=31 with a +12), lifting the Ducks to a fourth-place place finish in the Western Conference. The Ducks went 15-5-0 over their last 20 games. The 6-3, 212-pound winger was named the NHL’s “First Star of the Month” for March, and also received NHL “Stars of the Week” honors on four occasions in 2010-11: First Star of the Week on Apr. 4, Second Star of the Week on Mar. 28 and Third Star of the Week on both Mar. 14 and Feb. 7.

Selected by Anaheim in the first round (28th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Perry has appeared in 450 games over six seasons, scoring 168-201=369 points with 537 penalty minutes (PIM) and a +44 rating. Since his debut season in 2005-06 in which he scored 25 points, Perry has subsequently increased his point total in each of the next five seasons (25, 44, 54, 72, 76 and 98 in six NHL campaigns). Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin is the only other NHL player since the 2000-01 season to accomplish the feat. Perry has also collected 18-25=43 points in 54 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests, winning his first Stanley Cup championship with Anaheim in 2007. He has also won an Olympic Gold Medal (2010 Winter Games in Vancouver) and a World Junior Championship (2005) with Team Canada.

Other Southern California Players Nominated for the Hart Trophy

Won Hart
1989, Wayne Gretzky -  Los Angeles

Teemu Selanne, 1998 – Anaheim
Paul Kariya, 1997 – Anaheim
Wayne Gretzky, 1991 – Los Angeles
Marcel Dionne, 1979, 1980 and 1981 – Los Angeles
Rogie Vachon, 1975 & 1977 – Los Angeles

Perry spoke with reporters on Thursday afternoon at Honda Center. The following is a transcript:

It's been talked about for awhile now, but whenver you hear your name as a finalist officially, it sinks in that much more.

I'm just trying to reflect back on what happened this season. Everybody has been talking about it for a little while now. It's exciting. Hopefully, at the end of the day, it's going to be a fun time.

On what he credits his season to
I have to give a little praise to my teammates and my linemates. The coaching staff helped definitely. They put me in different roles this year where I could succeed. It was a lot of fun to be a part of.

On if he expected this type of season
No, I can say it wasn't. It's something that you don't really think about or plan on. At the end of the day, it's happened and it's exciting.

It really hasn't sunk in that it's over yet. It's been a few days. Not coming to the rink takes a little while to get used to.

On how his game has changed over the years
I don't know if I made that transition. I still want to be the agitator and get under people's skin. That is my game. I can't change it. Trying to stay out of the penalty box as much as I could was a huge benefit in the second half of the season. It was something I was thinking about for sure.

On hearing from family and friends
I got a few text messages and phone calls. THey are excited and very proud. It's something we are going to think and talk about for the rest of the summer.

On being the first Duck to be nominated for the Hart since 1997-98 (Selanne) and trying to become the second Southern California player to win the award (Gretzky)
To be in that category with those group of games is pretty tremendous. You have the best player ever and the best goal-scorer probably ever in Teemu.

On the finalists
All three of us had different seasons, fun seasons. You look at Marty, what he did with Tampa and where he brought them. You look at Sedin, what he did with Vancouver in taking them to the top and being consistent all year. It's not in my hands, that is for sure. I can't make that vote. Just to be in that category is an honor.

On scoring 50 goals for the first time in his career
I don't know what happened. You go out every game and try to do the best you can. It was a fun second half. You never expect to score 50 goals in a season. When you hit 50, it's a pretty tremendous feat.

Being in the shadows I guess, hopefully I stepped out to become myself and be that player I know I can be. It's taken a little bit of time, but hopefully it is here.
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