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Datsyuk takes home Lady Byng

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
VANCOUVER -- San Jose center Joe Thornton, whose career-high 125 points and +31 rating sparked the Sharks' dramatic late-season surge to fifth place in the Western Conference, captured his first career Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP tonight at the 2006 NHL Awards.

Thornton, who also collected the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's regular-season scoring leader, received 67 of 129 first-place votes for 1,058 points in Hart balloting. He edged New York Rangers right wing Jaromir Jagr, who tallied 48 first-place votes and 974 points.

Other honorees included Washington Capitals left wing Alexander Ovechkin, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. Ovechkin was a near-unanimous selection, receiving 124 of 129 first-place votes and five second-place votes for 1,275 points. The 20-year-old Moscow native led all rookies in scoring with 106 points and became the second rookie in history to tally 50 goals and 100 points in a season, following Winnipeg's Teemu Selanne in 1992-93. Ovechkin also led the NHL in shots with 425, the most ever for a rookie, and ranked third among all players in points.

Three days after winning the Stanley Cup, Carolina Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour was honored for regular-season achievement tonight, winning his first Frank Selke Trophy as the League's outstanding defensive forward. Brind'Amour led all NHL forwards in ice time per game at 24:17, more than a minute and a half ahead of second-place Brad Richards of Tampa Bay (22:45). He also excelled in the face-off circle, leading all players in face-offs taken with 2,145 and placing third in face-off winning percentage, 59.1%.

The Buffalo Sabres' Lindy Ruff claimed the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach, edging the Carolina Hurricanes' Peter Laviolette by one point (155-154) in the closest race since voting for the trophy began in 1973-74Ruff guided the Sabres to a 52-24-6 record for 110 points, a 25-point improvement over 2003-04, and set franchise records for victories and points.

Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff claimed his first Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender and William Jennings Trophy as the goaltender on the club allowing the fewest regular-season goals. Kiprusoff led all netminders in goals-against average (2.03) and shutouts (10), ranked second in victories (42) and was third in save percentage (.923).

The Detroit Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom captured the Norris Trophy for the fourth time as the League's outstanding defenseman. Lidstrom led all NHL blueliners in scoring with a career-high 80 points (16 goals, 64 assists), helping the Presidents' Trophy winners post a 14-0-0 record when he scored a goal. Lidstrom ranked third in the NHL in ice time per game (28:06) and posted a +21 rating.

Lidstrom's teammate Pavel Datsyuk won his first Lady Byng Trophy for combining sportsmanship with a high standard of play. Datsyuk led the Red Wings in scoring with a career-high 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists), the most by a Detroit player since Brendan Shanahan's 88 in 1996-97, and was the first Red Wing to tally 50 assists in a season since Steve Yzerman, also in 1996-97.

Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne received the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Selanne turned in a spectacular season in his second stint with the Ducks, leading the club in scoring with 90 points (40 goals, 50 assists) following reconstructive knee surgery in 2004.

San Jose Sharks right wing Jonathan Cheechoo won his first Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's goal-scoring leader. Cheechoo tallied a Sharks-record 56 goals, including 11 goals in the final 10 games, and led the NHL in game-winning goals (11), home-ice goals (31) and divisional goals (29).

Washington Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contributions to his community.

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 trophiesThe results for these awards were tabulated by the PHWA and the National Hockey League, respectively.
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