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Sedin takes home Hart Trophy at NHL Awards

by Shawn P. Roarke
LAS VEGAS – On a night full of star performances, perhaps the League's quietest player stole the spotlight at the 2010 NHL Awards Show at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino.

Vancouver's Henrik Sedin pulled off a huge upset in winning the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP, beating out its two biggest superstars: the brash and gregarious Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby. Ovechkin had won the Hart in each of the past two years.

Sedin said Tuesday he didn't believe he had a chance to win the award against two established stars from the Eastern Conference. But one night later the Professional Hockey Writers' Association proved him wrong, giving him 46 first-place votes and 894 points, 60 points and six first-place votes more than Ovechkin.

"Like I said, those players are second to none,' Sedin said. "It's almost like I am not part of that group. I thought the Hart was going to be really, really tough. I thought maybe the (Ted Lindsay Award). I'll take this though.'

Sedin is just the second Swede, along with Peter Forsberg, to win the Hart Trophy.

Sedin also took home the Art Ross Trophy, given to the League's leading scorer, by piling up 112 points -- 30 more than his previous career high. Sedin also led the League in assists with 83. Still, he wasn't sure that resume was enough to beat the more established duo of Crosby and Ovechkin.

"They are the faces of the sport since they joined the League,' Sedin said. "To be standing next to them, it is a strange feeling. I'm very proud and it is a great honor for sure.'

Ovechkin opened the night by winning the Ted Lindsay Award -- formerly the Lester B. Pearson Award -- as the players' MVP for the third-straight season, a feat previously achieved by only Wayne Gretzky and Montreal icon Guy Lafleur.

Crosby wasn't left out of the honors parade either, winning the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone. He also shared the Maurice "Rocket' Richard Trophy, as the League's top goal-scorer with Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos. Each player scored 51 goals.

Chicago's Duncan Keith followed up a Stanley Cup title with a Norris Trophy after he was named the League's best defenseman for the first time. He beat Washington's Mike Green by 265 points.

Buffalo's Tyler Myers won the Calder Trophy as the League's best rookie in what was a landslide decision. He received 94 of the 132 first-place votes and his 1,178 points were 400 more than runner-up Jimmy Howard, the goalie for the Detroit Red Wings.

Myers is just the third player from the Sabres organization to win the Rookie of the Year Award, joining Gilbert Perreault and Tom Barrasso

"It's nice to be put in that group of guys,' said Myers, who played almost 24 minutes a game, scored 48 points and was plus-13. "Even to be put in the group of rookies this year was enough for me. I was just happy to come and be in Vegas. To be able to walk up on stage, it's something I will never forget.'

It was a good night in Buffalo as goalie Ryan Miller won his first Vezina Trophy as the League's best goalie. Miller received 23 of the 30 first-place votes cast by NHL general managers. Ilya Bryzgalov of Phoenix finished second, 47 points behind Miller. New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, who won his fifth William Jennings Trophy as the lead goaltender on the team that allowed the fewest goals, finished third.

"I'm looking at all these names and the history on this trophy,' said Miller, who was also MVP of the Winter Olympics for the silver-medal winning Team USA. "To have my name on there is pretty amazing. My heroes are on here.'

Miller also won the NHL Foundation Award for his outstanding charitable contributions to his community.

The race for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward, was among the closest of the night. Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk claimed his third-straight Selke by just 33 points. Vancouver's Ryan Kesler received 36 first-place votes, just one fewer than Datsyuk.

Datsyuk was not as lucky in the race for the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded to the game's most gentlemanly player. Datsyuk had won the previous four seasons, but finished a distant third this time. Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis won for the first time after several nominations.

"I have to thank Brad Richards,' St. Louis joked of the second-place finisher and former teammate with the Lightning. "He told me that Christmas cards to the referees really work.'

Dave Tippett of the Phoenix Coyotes capped a storybook season by running away with the Jack Adams Trophy, awarded to the League's best coach. Tippett orchestrated a 28-point turnaround by the Coyotes that earned the franchise its first playoff berth since 2002. He was rewarded by earning 291 points, 231 more than Nashville's Barry Trotz, the runner-up. Tippett also received 57 of the 59 first-place votes.

"We were a team that nobody gave much of a chance at the start of the year and we used that adversity as a motivating factor throughout our whole group,' he said. "In the end, we probably did a lot more than most people thought, but in Phoenix we think it is just the foundation of what we want to build on.'

Washington goalie Jose Theodore also battled through adversity this season, dealing with the grief of losing his young son, Chase, who died at the start of last season from complications stemming from his premature birth -- and was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for the way he battled through the tragedy.

"It's a mixed feeling. It was really tough year, but I'm proud of the way I handled myself,' Theodore said after finishing his teary-eyed speech.

The Coyotes' organization took home a second piece of hardware Wednesday night when Shane Doan won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which celebrates charitable and humanitarian contributions by a NHL player.

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