In the opinion of many, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is the most outstanding player in the world.
After his remarkable 2012-13 season, Crosby’s hockey peers agree with that sentiment.
Crosby, 25, was named the winner of the Ted Lindsay Award, which goes annually to the “Most Outstanding Player” in the NHL as voted by the league’s players.
“It was nice,” said Crosby, who also won the award in 2006-07. “To be recognized by the guys that you play against is a compliment.
“To know that’s the way they see you as a player, to have that much respect for your season and what you did means a lot. Any player will tell you that. It’s special that we have that award. It’s an honor for anyone who is able to win it.”
Crosby was clearly the most dominant offense force in the NHL this season. He was coasting to another scoring title with 56 points (15G-41A) in his first 35 games – a 10-point lead on the rest of the competition. But 87 seconds into his 36th game, Crosby suffered a broken jaw and missed the remainder of the season.
Despite missing all that time, he still finished third (tied) in the NHL scoring race – just four points behind Art Ross winner Martin St. Louis. It took St. Louis 25 days to catch Crosby.
“I’m happy with my regular season. It was pretty good for the most part,” Crosby said. “I felt like I got to the level that I wanted to.”
Crosby was also a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy – which goes to the NHL’s MVP. He placed second to Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (1090 to 1058). Crosby also finished with 46 first-place votes for the Hart – second only to Ovechkin’s 50.
“When you’re in the mix and that close, it’s something you’d love to win,” Crosby said. “It’s not something that is automatic every year. I had a pretty good year this year and don’t think I would do anything differently. I’m not too upset that I didn’t win.”
The Penguins now have had players win the Ted Lindsay Award nine times: Mario Lemieux (1986, ’88, ’93 and ’96); Jaromir Jagr (1999 and ’00); Crosby (2007 and ’13); and Evgeni Malkin (2012). The nine titles for Pittsburgh are the most of any franchise.
Crosby’s second Ted Lindsay Award is only one of many trophies he has won in his playing career. Others include the Hart (2006-07), Art Ross (2006-07), Maurice “Rocket” Richard for goal-scoring champion (2009-10), Mark Messier Leadership Award (2009-10) and an Olympic gold medal (2010).
But the most important hardware he’s won in his career came in 2009 when he hoisted the Stanley Cup.
“Winning defines players. Ultimately winning is what players are remembered by and how their teams do,” Crosby said. “Awards and things like that are nice and an honor to win them, but guys play to win. Guys don’t play for awards.”