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Crosby, Staal Hope to Walk Away With Hardware at Wednesday's NHL Awards Show

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
Three years ago Sidney Crosby was the main attraction at the National Hockey League’s annual awards show when he took home the Hart Memorial Trophy and Lester Pearson Award to go along with the Art Ross Trophy he earned as the NHL’s top point scorer in 2006-07.

Crosby will have the chance to fly back to Pittsburgh with four more pieces of hardware for his mantle on Wednesday night as the NHL once again hosts its annual awards show live at the Pearl Concert Theater inside The Palms Hotel. The show, which will be hosted by actor and comedian Jay Mohr, will be televised nationally on VERSUS at 7:30 p.m.

Crosby, who will receive the Rocket Richard Trophy for the first time in his career after tying Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead with 51 goals during the regular season, is a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award (formerly the Pearson) and the Bridgestone Mark Messier Leadership Award.

Crosby isn’t the only Penguin up for a major award on Wednesday. Center Jordan Staal is a first-time finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s top defensive forward.

At just 22-years-old, Crosby will have the chance to join Penguins Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux as the only players in franchise history to pick up multiple Hart Trophies if he is able to fend off Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin and the Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin for the right to be crowned regular-season MVP as judged by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Sedin and Ovechkin are also the finalists with Crosby for the Lindsay Award, which goes to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by the NHL Players’ Association.

The Messier Leadership Award, which will be presented for just the fourth time, goes "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season." The ultimate winner is chosen by Messier himself.

Crosby’s competition for this honor includes the Phoenix Coyotes Shane Doan and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.

It speaks volumes to Staal’s ability as a two-way center that he is already a Selke Award finalist at this stage of his career. Usually, players have to spend a good 6-8 years proving themselves before they are even considered for this award.

A defensive stalwart who has excelled killing penalties and shadowing the opposition’s top line since he broke into the league four years ago, the 21-year-old Staal is up against two-time defending champion of this award, Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, and Vancouver forward Ryan Kesler.

In addition to watching the awards show, make sure to check the next few days for behind-the-scenes stories and videos featuring Crosby and Staal in Las Vegas.
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