NHL MVP and scoring champion Evgeni Malkin and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby have been nominated for awards at the 20th annual ESPYS, which take place Wednesday, July 11th at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
Malkin is nominated for Best NHL Player (Claude Giroux, Philadelphia; Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers; Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay).
Crosby is nominated for Best Comeback (Johan Santana, NY Mets; tennis star Maria Sharapova; Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions).
Malkin walked away from the 2012 NHL Awards with the Hart (MVP), Ted Lindsay (outstanding player as voted by peers) and Art Ross (scoring champion) trophies. He dominated the league with 50 goals and 109 points (his 109 points were 12 more than second-place finisher Stamkos).
Malkin became the fourth Penguin to break the 100-point mark three times in his career, was nominated to his fourth All-Star Game and posted four five-point games. Malkin won a gold medal with Team Russia at the 2012 World Championship, claiming tournament MVP and Top Forward after leading the tournament in scoring with 19 points (11G-8A). His 19 points set a Team Russia WC record for points.
Crosby returned to the ice after recovering from bouts with concussion-like symptoms. He missed the final 41 games of the 2010-11 regular season after suffering a concussion on Jan. 5. He missed 61 games before returning Nov. 21 against the NY Islanders – scoring two goals and four points in a magical return.
Crosby was sidelined again for 40 games with concussion-like symptoms from December to March. He once again returned to the ice and still finished the year with 37 points (8G-29A) despite playing in only 22 games (1.68 points per game average).
Malkin could become the third Penguins player to win the ESPY for Best NHL Player, and the organization’s eighth overall title. Crosby won Best NHL Player four years in a row from 2007-10 and Hall of Fame player and Penguins owner Mario Lemieux claimed the title three times (1993, ’94, ’98).
The ESPYS benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research in memory of the late Jim Valvano.