|Crosby, Brodeur, Luongo vie for NHL MVP award|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 01 May 2007 08:54|
Sidney Crosby, the 19-year-old NHL scoring champion from the Pittsburgh Penguins, is a finalist for league MVP in just his second season. After scoring 120 points, Crosby is one of three players vying for the Hart Trophy.
The other two nominees are a pair of netminders, New Jersey's Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks. Brodeur broke Bernie Parent's 33-year-old record by winning 48 games this season for the Devils. Luongo, in his first season with the Canucks, tied the mark with 47.
Both allowed 171 goals this season. Brodeur did it in 78 games - one shy of Grant Fuhr's single-season record - for a goals-against average of 2.18, while Luongo posted a 2.29 GAA in 76 games.
They are also finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL's top goalie and voted by the NHL's 30 general managers, along with Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Miikka Kiprusoff of Calgary.
Kiprusoff, the Vezina winner last year, was also in the running for the Hart then. He will have to settle for a third-place tie with Lundqvist for this year's Vezina. It is the first time since 1983, when the awards were first handed out in a televised ceremony, there are more than three finalists in a category.
This year's winners will be announced June 14 in Toronto.
Like Crosby, Luongo is a first-time Hart finalist. Brodeur, the Vezina winner in 2003 and 2004, has been up for the MVP award two previous times.
Crosby, last season's runner-up for rookie of the year, is the youngest scoring leader in major pro sports history at 19 years, seven months. He is the youngest Hart finalist since 19-year-old Wayne Gretzky won the first of nine in 1980.
Gretzky won eight straight between 1980-87, and captured his last in 1989.
Crosby, Luongo and Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier, the NHL goal champion with 52, are up for the Pearson Award - the most outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHL Payers' Association.
The other nominees include:
- Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit, Chris Pronger of Anaheim, and Ducks teammate Scott Niedermayer, are up for the Norris Trophy, given to the best defenseman, Lidstrom has won four times, while Pronger and Niedermayer each won once with other teams.
- Pittsburgh has an excellent chance to have the winner of the Calder Trophy, given to the rookie of the year, with Penguins forwards Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal joining Colorado's Paul Stastny as finalists.
- Buffalo's Lindy Ruff, the coach of the year last season, is again up for the award after guiding the Sabres to their first Presidents' Trophy title. Pittsburgh's Michel Therrien and Vancouver's Alain Vigneault are also up for the Adams Award.
- Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, Colorado's Joe Sakic and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, given to the most gentlemanly player.
- Rod Brind'Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes is in the running for his second straight Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward. His competition consists of Anaheim's Samuel Pahlsson and New Jersey's Jay Pandolfo.
Voting for all awards concluded with the regular season. The Professional Hockey Writers' Association conducts balloting for the Hart, Norris, Selke, Calder and Lady Byng.
Two other trophies, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarian contribution to his community will also be handed out at the awards ceremony.
Crosby won the Art Ross Trophy as the scoring champion after posting 36 goals and 84 assists. Minnesota goalies Niklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez captured the Jennings Trophy, given to the team with the fewest goals against.