The National Hockey League announced this afternoon that Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals and Henrik Sedin of the Canucks are the 2009-10 finalists for the Hart Trophy.
The Hart Memorial Trophy is presented annually “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” The winner is selected in a poll by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in the 30 NHL cities at the end of the regular season.
The winner of the trophy will be announced at the 2010 NHL Awards, to be held in Las Vegas on June 23. The ceremony will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Crosby led the Penguins in points and finished second in the NHL scoring race with 109 points. Crosby most impressive feat of the season was winning the Rocket Richard Award, scoring 51 goals, surpassing his previous career high of 39 in 2005-2006.
Crosby also led the league with eight shootout goals and led the league in hat tricks.
Alexander Ovechkin is the two-time defending Hart Trophy winner and was long considered the favorite for the award until Crosby and Henrik Sedin went on a tear to end the season.
Ovechkin had 50 goals and 59 assists, including a plus/minus rating of plus-45. Ovechkin led the NHL in points per game (1.51) and goals per game (0.69).
Henrik Sedin claimed the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s regular season scoring leader with 112 points. Sedin had 29 goals and 83 assists in 82 games.
Based on talks with voters, it appears Crosby’s late run likely wasn’t enough. Ovechkin’s struggles after the Olympic break had more than a handful of voters go in Henrik Sedin’s direction not Crosby’s.