Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis has been named one of three finalists for the 2010-11 Hart Memorial Trophy, the National Hockey League announced today. St. Louis, who previously won the award following the conclusion of the 2003-04 season, is joined on the ballot by Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks. The Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded annually “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” This year marks the first time in 50 years that three wingers have been up for the award.
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 designated as finalists. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 22, at the 2011 NHL Awards to be held at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
“I am very pleased to be named one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy today, but it is an honor I share with my teammates, coaches and the entire organization,” St. Louis said upon the announcement. “We have come a long way as a team in the past year and we are all excited to be moving on into the second round of the playoffs. I am glad we have been able to bring back the winning hockey mentality to the Lightning and our fans.”
The nomination comes just one week after St. Louis was also tabbed a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, which he won last season. St. Louis is coming off one of the most memorable seasons of his career, as he tallied points in each of his last nine games and in 15 of his final 17 contests to finish second in the league in scoring with 99 points, which marked the second-highest total of his career. His 68 assists, an individual career-high, also tied the Lightning franchise record for most in a single season, while his 41 points on the power play ranked second among all NHL players. His 472 consecutive games played are good for the NHL’s fourth-longest active streak.
St. Louis won the Hart Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the 2003-04 regular season, a campaign in which he also received the Art Ross Memorial Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, Bud Light Plus/Minus Award and NHL All-Star first-team honors before helping lead Tampa Bay to a Stanley Cup championship.
The Hart Memorial Trophy was first 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.