Penguins' Crosby wins Lindsay, loses Hart
Sidney Crosby was the players' choice. Alex Ovechkin had the writers' Hart.
The NHL announced its major award winners Saturday night before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final — and the league's two shining stars split the big honors.
Crosby won the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player, voted on by active members of the Players' Association.
His career NHL Awards tally is at two Lindsay Awards, a Hart Trophy (MVP) and an Art Ross Trophy (scoring title) — and the Cup, which the Penguins won in 2009.
That last trophy is how he believes historians will judge him.
“It will be by championships,” Crosby said. “Winning always defines players.”
Crosby stressed he was honored to win the Lindsay Award, because it is voted on by “guys you compete against every night.”
Ovechkin claimed the Hart Trophy for most valuable player to his team, voted on by select members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.
Crosby finished second by 32 points. He received 46 first-place votes.
Ovechkin was not available for comment other than a taped acceptance speech. He is scheduled to address his MVP win Sunday morning.
The NHL scrapped its annual Awards Show because an owners' lockout of players that lasted four months and extended the playoffs by two weeks.
Other winners Saturday announced included:
• Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender).
• P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens for the Norris Trophy (best defenseman). Kris Letang of the Penguins, a first-time finalist, finished third — though he received 31 first-place votes.
• Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers for the Calder Trophy (top rookie). Brandon Saad, of Gibsonia, finished third. He is playing in the Cup Final with Chicago. All NHL awards are voted on based upon regular-season performance.
Crosby has twice won the “Players Award,” tying him with Jaromir Jagr for second most in franchise history behind Mario Lemieux, who won it four times.
A Penguins player has won the Players Award a record nine times.
Lindsay, a Hall of Famer and founding member of the Players' Association, said Crosby is deserving to take the mantle from teammate Evgeni Malkin, who won the Players Award last year.
“Great players, the two best right now — that's what I think,” Lindsay told the Tribune-Review.
Crosby said he is “really happy” that Malkin agreed to an eight-year contract worth $76 million Thursday.
“I'm excited that it's done, and we'll be playing together for a long time,” Crosby said.
Crosby, their captain, has committed to the Penguins for the next 12 years at $104.4 million that is guaranteed against concussion. His Players Award win marked his first individual honor since missing most of 15 months from January 2011-March 2012 with concussion symptoms.
Injuries to Crosby and decreased production from Ovechkin slightly dimmed the shine of their respective stars and dulled their eight-year rivalry until a return to prominence this season.
Crosby was positioned with a double-digit lead in the scoring race before missing the final 12 games with a broken jaw that required surgery. He and Ovechkin finished tied for third in scoring with 56 points, though Crosby's points-per-game average (1.55) led the NHL.
Ovechkin didn't miss a game, and he scored 24 goals and 41 points in his final 29 games as the Capitals rallied to win the Southeast Division.
Ovechkin has three MVPs, matching Lemieux, Bobby Orr (Bruins) and Bobby Clarke (Flyers) for the second most ever.
He also bested Crosby for the Calder in 2006, though Ovechkin has never led the Capitals past the second round.
With Crosby, the Penguins have advanced to the Final twice,and played in the Eastern Conference final this season — though they were swept by Boston, and Crosby and Malkin did not produce a point.
Lindsay called Crosby “an example for all players.”
“He could play great in any era,” Lindsay said. “That is what I like from him. He would have been one of the best when I played, when Orr or Gretzky played, before and after. He pushes himself to be better every year. He is an example for all players.
“He has the spotlight, but he deserves it. When Crosby is healthy, it takes somebody's best and then some to go over him.”