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Malkin Finalist For Hart Trophy

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
NEW YORK (April 29, 2008) -- Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin are the three finalists for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the player judged "the most valuable to his team," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters announced as finalists. The winner will be announced Thursday, June 12 during the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special, which will be broadcast live throughout Canada on CBC and the United States on VERSUS from the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto.

Following are the finalists for the Hart Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Iginla, a Hart Trophy finalist for the third time, finished second in 2002 and 2004. He tallied his second career 50-goal season in the NHL and recorded a career-best 98 points (50 goals, 48 assists) in 82 games, ranking third in the League in both categories. The Calgary captain led the Flames in goals, assists, points, plus-minus (+27), power-play goals (15), game-winning goals (nine) and shots (338). He became the franchise leader in career games Nov. 29 with his 804th appearance, eclipsing the mark of Al MacInnis, and became the Flames' all-time goal-scoring leader March 10 with the 365th career tally, passing Theoren Fleury.

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Malkin, a Hart Trophy finalist for the first time, led the Penguins in scoring and finished second in the League overall to Ovechkin with 106 points (47 goals, 59 assists) in 82 games. Malkin posted a 15-game point streak from Oct. 23 to Nov. 22, the longest by a Russian player in NHL history, and tallied 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 28 games while Sidney Crosby was sidelined with an ankle injury during the second half of the season. Malkin was the NHL's leading scorer after Dec. 31, tallying 65 points (32 goals, 33 assists) in 44 games; the Penguins posted a 27-11-6 record in that span.

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Ovechkin, a first-time Hart nominee, tallied 112 points (65 goals, 47 assists) in 82 games, capturing the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring leader and Maurice Richard Trophy as the League’s top goal scorer. He also led all players in power-play goals (22) and game-winning goals (11). Ovechkin set the single-season NHL record for goals by a left wing, surpassing Luc Robitaille's 63 with Los Angeles in 1992-93, and his 65 goals were the most by NHL player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96. Ovechkin scored 51 of his goals in the 61 games after Bruce Boudreau was named head coach Nov. 22, pacing the 37-17-7 run that carried the Capitals into the playoffs.

The current Hart Trophy was presented by the National Hockey League in 1960 after the original trophy was retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The original was donated to the NHL in 1923 by Dr. David A. Hart, father of Cecil Hart, former manager-coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

Announcement Schedule

The finalists for the Jack Adams Award (outstanding coach) will be announced on Wednesday, April 30.

Previously Announced Trophy Finalists

Vezina Trophy (outstanding goaltender)
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks

Norris Trophy (outstanding defenseman)
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
Dion Phaneuf, Calgary Flames

Calder Trophy (outstanding rookie)
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship and gentlemanly play)
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

Frank Selke Trophy (outstanding defensive forward)
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
John Madden, New Jersey Devils
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
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