Share This Page

Malkin named finalist for Hart Trophy

| Friday, April 27, 2012, 11:50 a.m.

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has been nominated for the Hart Trophy, awarded annually to the MVP of the NHL's regular season.

This is the third time Malkin has been nominated, and he is the favorite to claim his first Hart.

The other nominees are New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos.

Malkin, 25, won his second scoring title this season by producing a career-high 50 goals and 109 points. Stamkos was the only player to push him in the scoring race, but he is considered a long shot. Stamkos' Lightning did not make the playoffs, and the last NHL player to win the Hart Trophy despite his team missing the playoffs was Penguins center Mario Lemieux in 1988.

Voting for the Hart concluded at the end of the regular season.

Malkin twice lost to countryman Alex Ovechkin in Hart Trophy voting in 2008 and '09.

Should Malkin claim the MVP award in June in Las Vegas, he would join elite company in Penguins history.

The other Penguins players to win the Hart are Lemieux (1988, '93, '96), right wing Jaromir Jagr (1999) and center Sidney Crosby (2007).

Malkin predicted in September that he was about to have one of his greatest seasons. He worked uncommonly hard last summer in Russia, spending considerable time with Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar to rebound from a torn ACL that ended his 2010-11 season.

The injury served as a wake-up call for Malkin, who was never a summer-conditioning enthusiast.

He entered training camp in the best physical condition of his career and responded with perhaps his best season. Despite injuries to Crosby, center Jordan Staal and defenseman Kris Letang, the Penguins produced the second-most points in franchise history largely because of Malkin's brilliance.

He easily won the scoring title despite missing seven games early in the season because of pain in his surgically repaired knee.

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jyohe@tribweb.com or 412-664-9161.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.