Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier, the 2006-07 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner as the NHL’s leading goal scorer, has been chosen as a finalist for the Lester B. Pearson Award, the league announced today. Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis, the 2004 Hart Memorial Trophy winner as league MVP, has been selected as a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The Lester B. Pearson Award is presented annually to “the most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by the players. The award was first presented in 1971 by the NHL Players’ Association in honor of the late Lester B. Pearson, former Prime Minister of Canada. The other finalists this season are Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded through a vote of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” The Lady Byng Trophy was first awarded in 1925, and Lightning center Brad Richards was chosen as the 2004 recipient. This year’s other finalists are Colorado’s Joe Sakic and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk.
In addition to leading the NHL in goals this season, Lecavalier finished third in the league with 108 points and registered a league-best 61 points on the road. He had success on the penalty kill as well, finishing tied for second in the NHL with nine short-handed points. The Ile Bizard, Quebec native set franchise records for goals and points in a season, and registered at least a point in 67 of his 82 games.
St. Louis had a career season in 2006-07, finishing fifth in the league with 102 points, eight more than he had in his 2003-04 Hart Trophy campaign. He also set a career high with 43 goals and had a league-leading 11 shorthanded points. He played extremely well on the road, finishing tied for second in the league with 25 goals and 56 points. St. Louis’ 28 penalty minutes were the second fewest among the top-30 point leaders in the league.
The NHL award winners will be announced Thursday, June 14 during the 2007 NHL Awards Television Special at the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto.
Following are the finalists for each trophy, in alphabetical order:
LADY BYNG MEMORIAL TROPHY (sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct): Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche; Martin St. Louis , Tampa Bay Lightning.
LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD (most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.
CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding rookie): Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins; Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche.
FRANK J. SELKE TROPHY (outstanding defensive forward): Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes; Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim Ducks; Jay Pandolfo, New Jersey Devils.
HART MEMORIAL TROPHY (most valuable player to his team): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.
JACK ADAMS AWARD (outstanding coach): Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres; Michel Therrien, Pittsburgh Penguins; Alain Vigneault, Vancouver Canucks.
JAMES NORRIS MEMORIAL TROPHY (outstanding defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings; Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks; Chris Pronger, Anaheim Ducks.
VEZINA TROPHY (outstanding goaltender): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils; Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames; Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.
All voting is conducted at the conclusion of the regular season. The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association votes for five trophies (Hart, Norris, Selke, Calder and Lady Byng). The NHL General Managers vote for the Vezina Trophy. Members of the National Hockey League Players' Association select the Lester B. Pearson Award winner and the NHL Broadcasters’ Association votes on the Jack Adams Award. Results are tabulated by the accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Two other trophies, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey) and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy (leadership and humanitarian contribution to his community) also will be presented at the Awards ceremony.
Sidney Crosby, who captured the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL scoring champion, Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier (Maurice Richard Trophy, League's top goal-scorer) and Minnesota Wild goaltenders Niklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez (William Jennings Trophy, goaltenders for the club finishing the regular season with the fewest team goals against) will receive their respective trophies at a media luncheon to be held during the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, date and site to be determined.