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Crosby Captures Hart Trophy As MVP; Malkin Takes Calder

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
TORONTO (June 14, 2007) -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby won the Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League's Most Valuable Player tonight, capping a sophomore season in which he became the youngest scoring champion in major pro sports history and sparked one of the NHL's most dramatic team turnarounds.

Crosby, who earlier this month was named the youngest team captain in League history, received 91 of 143 first-place votes for 1,225 points in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, who tallied 25 first-place votes and 801 points, was runner-up.

At 19 years, 10 months, Crosby is the second-youngest Hart Trophy winner in the history of the award, which was introduced in 1924. Wayne Gretzky was 19 years, 5 months old in 1979-80 when he captured the first of eight consecutive Hart Trophies with the Edmonton Oilers.

Crosby finished the regular season with 36 goals and 84 assists for 120 points, winning the Art Ross Trophy as League scoring champion. He took the permanent scoring lead with a career-high six-point night against Philadelphia Dec. 13 and never went more than three consecutive games without a point afterward. The Penguins were 41-10-9 in games when Crosby recorded a point, 6-13-0 when he did not and 0-1-2 when he was out of the lineup.

The Penguins finished the season with a 47-24-11 record for 105 points, qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2001 and recording a 47-point improvement over 2005-06. Only three clubs in NHL history have posted a bigger gain, most recently the Winnipeg Jets' 48-point surge from 1980-81 to 1981-82.

Other honorees included Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. Malkin launched his NHL career in memorable fashion, becoming the first player in 89 years to score goals in each of his first six NHL games. Before Malkin, only three players in NHL history had scored at least one goal in each of their first six (or more) games and all did so in 1917-18, the League's inaugural season. The 20-year-old went on to lead all rookies in goals (33), power-play goals (16), assists (52) and points (85).

Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings joined an elite group by capturing the Norris Trophy as the League's outstanding defenseman for the fifth time. Lidstrom becomes the fourth defenseman in League history with as many as five Norris Trophy wins, joining Hockey Hall of Fame members Bobby Orr (eight), Doug Harvey (seven) and Ray Bourque (five). Lidstrom, who earned his fifth Norris in the past six seasons, tied for the League lead among defensemen in plus-minus with a +40 rating, ranked third among all players in ice time per game (27:29) and was fifth among defensemen in scoring with 62 points (13 goals, 49 assists).

Lidstrom's teammate, Pavel Datsyuk, won his second consecutive Lady Byng Trophy for combining sportsmanship with a high standard of play. Datsyuk led the Red Wings in scoring for the second consecutive season, matching a career high with 87 points (27 goals, 60 assists). His plus-36 rating ranked second on the club and seventh in the League overall.

Another repeat winner was Carolina Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour, who won the Frank Selke Trophy as the League’s outstanding defensive forward. Brind'Amour ranked second among all NHL centers with a 59.2% face-off winning percentage and ranked third among League forwards in average ice time per game (23:19).

The New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur claimed the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender for the third time in the past four seasons following a record-breaking campaign. Brodeur won an unprecedented 48 games, surpassing Bernie Parent's mark of 47 in 1973-74, led the NHL in shutouts (12), ranked third in goals-against average (2.18) and third in save percentage (.922).

Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks won his first Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach, edging last year's winner, Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres, by eight points (134-126). In his first year behind the Vancouver bench, Vigneault guided the Canucks to a franchise record-breaking season. They improved their wins record to 49 from a previous high of 46 and recorded the highest points total in club history with 105.

Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contributions to his community. Koivu's exemplary support of cancer treatment and research -- and, more particularly, his personal demonstration of courage as a cancer survivor -- is a source of inspiration and pride to his teammates as well as the many thousands of patients and their families who benefit from his generosity.

Boston Bruins center Phil Kessel received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Diagnosed with testicular cancer in early December, the 19-year-od Kessel played a Dec. 9 game against New Jersey, knowing he would be admitted to the hospital for surgery on Dec. 12. He missed only 12 games before returning to Boston's lineup.

Four players who received the NHL's statistic-based trophies June 2 in Ottawa also were acknowledged at the NHL Awards Show this evening: Crosby (Art Ross Trophy), Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier (Maurice Richard Trophy as goal-scoring leader) and the Minnesota Wild's Niklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez (William Jennings Trophy as goaltenders on the club allowing the fewest goals).

The Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) cast ballots for the Hart, Norris, Selke, Lady Byng and Calder Trophies. The PHWA also voted on the Masterton Trophy. The 30 NHL General Managers voted on the Vezina Trophy. The NHL Broadcasters' Association (NHLBA) submitted votes for the Jack Adams Award, and a special panel of representatives from the PHWA and NHLBA chose the King Clancy winner. Voting for these awards was conducted at the conclusion of the regular season.

Balloting results were tabulated by the accounting firm Ernst & Young, with the exception of the Masterton and King Clancy trophies. The results for these awards were tabulated by the PHWA and the National Hockey League, respectively.
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