NEW YORK – Forward Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, goaltender Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and forward John Tavares of the New York Islanders are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Hart Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," the National Hockey League announced today.
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 Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Hart Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Ovechkin scored 53 goals to capture his third consecutive and fifth overall Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy and also posted 81 points – his most since 2010-11 – to power the Capitals to their seventh playoff berth in the past eight seasons. He became the sixth player in NHL history to record six 50-goal seasons, led the League and set a career high/franchise record with 25 power-play goals and also paced the NHL with 11 game-winning goals (equaling a career high set in 2010-11). Ovechkin is a Hart Trophy finalist for the fifth time after winning the award in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2012-13 and finishing as a runner-up in 2009-10.
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Price captured his first career William M. Jennings Trophy as well as the sixth in Canadiens history to backstop the club to its best regular season since 1988-89. He led the NHL in wins (44), goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933), becoming the first goaltender to pace the League in all three categories since Ed Belfour in 1990-91. In doing so, Price surpassed Jacques Plante's 59-year-old franchise record for wins in one season (42), set in 1955-56 and equaled in 1961-62 and 1975-76. He is a Hart Trophy finalist for the first time and the first goaltender among the finalists since 2011-12 (Henrik Lundqvist).
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Tavares set career highs in goals (38) and points (86) to finish second in the Art Ross Trophy race and lead the Islanders to their best regular-season record since 1983-84. Tavares, who appeared in all 82 games, registered at least one point in 65.9% of his contests (54/82), including a four-game streak to open the season (2-7—9) and a six-game run to close the campaign (4-8—12). He also scored four overtime goals to establish a single-season franchise record and Islanders career record (8). Tavares is a Hart Trophy finalist for the second time after finishing third in voting in 2012-13.
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.
The three finalists for NHL trophies are being announced by NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA in Canada on Stanley Cup Playoff broadcasts through May 6, during pregame programming from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. ET. The series of announcements continues on Thursday, April 30, when the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.
IMG will produce the 2015 NHL Awards, under the direction of executive producer Steve Mayer.
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment as well as information on broadcasting and tickets and hospitality and travel packages through PrimeSport will be announced at a future date. In what has become an annual tradition, EA SPORTS will unveil the Cover Athlete for the upcoming launch of NHL 16. In addition, fans can enter for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 NHL Awards at www.NHL.com/Vegas and tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.