Major NHL awards elude Crosby
TribLIVE Sports Videos
LAS VEGAS — The youngest captain of a Stanley Cup champion apparently needs to win over NHL writers and players, but not members of his organization.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby finished third in voting for the Hart Trophy (MVP) to Vancouver Canucks center and NHL scoring leader Henrik Sedin, who also bested Crosby for a spot on the NHL's first All-Star team.
The Hart and All-Star teams are voted on by select members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
The Ted Lindsay Award (outstanding player) is chosen by the league's Players Association, and it went to Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin for a third straight season.
"It's not easy, and especially now I have more of an appreciation for it," Crosby said after the NHL Awards Show at The Palms Hotel Las Vegas.
Crosby, 22, is three years removed from winning the Hart, Lindsay (then the Lester B. Pearson Award) and the Art Ross Trophy, which goes to the NHL's leading scorer.
His offseason approach after winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 was to focus on improving his scoring touch, and his response last season was 51 goals -- tied for the NHL lead with Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos and 12 more than his previous-best total, set during the 2005-06 campaign.
Still, his 729 points trailed Ovechkin's 834 and Sedin's 894 in Hart balloting. The NHLPA doesn't reveal the breakdown of its voting results.
Crosby finished with 500 points in the All-Star voting, 34 fewer than Sedin at center.
The voting results probably won't please Penguins general manager Ray Shero, who last week compared Crosby to Hockey Hall-of-Famer and six-time Cup winner Bryan Trottier.
"The drive he had to score last season — he's always been a pass-first guy, but part of his mindset this year was wanting to score goals, it was that simple," Shero said. "Usually when he sets his mind to it, he accomplishes it."
Crosby didn't leave Las Vegas empty-handed, winning his first Mark Messier Leadership Award and sharing the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy with Stamkos.
He called those awards "real honors," and he didn't begrudge Sedin or Ovechkin, his rival dating to their NHL debuts in 2005.
Seemingly the only MVP slights against Crosby before last season were his goal scoring and the luxury of playing on a team with center Evgeni Malkin, the 2009 scoring champion and a Hart runner-up that year and in 2008.
However, Crosby scored 51 goals and 109 points, tied for second in the NHL, over 81 games during a season when Malkin produced career lows in goals (28), points (77) and games (67).
The 32 points separating Crosby and Malkin represented the largest discrepancy between a club's first and second scorers, but it didn't prevent the Penguins from finishing with 101 points — third most in the Eastern Conference.
Note: Defenseman Sergei Gonchar's agent, JP Barry, said he has not heard from Shero about a contract proposal sent over the weekend. Barry said he will speak to Shero at the NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles this weekend.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- Penguins GM insists new coach Johnston was no afterthought
- Penguins coach says team needs to ‘lessen the load’ on Crosby
- Pens’ Johnston hopes to `lessen the load’ for Crosby
- Penguins goalie Fleury likely to enter season without new contract