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Let the MVP debate begin as report has Ovechkin winning. My NHL Awards ballot.

The BIG awards come Saturday night from the NHL, but already there is a speculation about the MVP winner that will lead to a lot of chatter between fans of the league’s two top stars.

A report Friday by TSN indicated Washington’s Alex Ovechkin will be named winner of the Hart Trophy (MVP). That would give him three, as many as Mario Lemieux.

Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby finished tied for third in the NHL with 56 points.

Crosby missed the final 12 games because of a broken jaw that required surgery. At the time of his injury, he held a double-digit lead in scoring for a team that was second overall in the NHL, a team that had won 15 consecutive games, and a team that had the reigning MVP, Evgeni Malkin, with all of six goals.

Ovechkin did not miss a game, though his first 16 games resulted in five goals and 10 points. Ovechkin did finish fantastically, and his Capitals did rally from the depths to win the Southeast division, which placed only Washington in the playoffs.

The Atlantic division, where the Penguins play, placed three teams in the playoffs, including the Penguins.

The other MVP finalist is John Tavares of the Islanders, who returned to the playoffs after a long drought.

The Awards are what they are, and I’ve stated before that I do not believe any one group – writers, broadcasters, GMs, coaches, players – should have exclusive say over who wins, as is the case; nor should we stray at all from the specific criteria upon which we are to vote.

Any winner is a deserving winner, as is any finalist. That will be the case no matter who wins the MVP.

I will be interested to see which player wins the Ted Lindsay Award, voted on by the players.

I am a voting member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Here is my ballot for ALL awards upon which the PHWA votes:

Cheers,

Rossi

 

= HART TROPHY (“to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team”) — Five selections.\

1 Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

2 Patrick Kane, Chicago

3 JohnTavares, NY Islanders

4 Alex Ovechkin, Washington

5 Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit

= NORRIS TROPHY (“to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position”) — Five selections.

1 Kris Letang, Pittsburgh

2 Ryan Suter, Minnesota

3 P.K. Subban, Montreal

4 Dion Phaneuf, Toronto

5 Shea Weber, Nashville

= CALDER TROPHY (“to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition”) — Five selections.
(Note: An eligible player cannot have played more than 25 NHL games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons. A player must not have attained his 26th birthday by Sept. 15 of the season in which he is eligible.)

1 Justin Schultz, Oilers

2 Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers

3 Brandon Saad, Blackhawks

4 Nail Yakupov, Oilers

5 Cory Goncaher, Senators
= LADY BYNG TROPHY (“to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability”) — Five selections.

1 – Patrick Kane, Chicago

2 – Matt Moulson, NY Islanders

3 – Matt Duchene, Colorado

4 – Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit

5 – Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay
= SELKE TROPHY (“to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game”) — Five selections.

1 Jonathan Toews, Chicago

2 Patrice Bergeron, Boston

3 Pascal Dupuis, Pittsburgh

4 Ryan Callahan, NY Rangers

5 Eric Staal, Carolina

=  NHL All-Star Team

CENTER — Three selections.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh

Jonathan Toews, Chicago

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay

RIGHT WING — Three selections.

Patrick Kane, Chicago

Alex Ovechkin, Washington

Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay
LEFT WING — Three selections.

Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh

Rick Nash, NY Rangers

Zach Parise, Minnesota
DEFENSE — SIX selections.

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh

Ryan Suter, Minnesota

P.K. Subban, Montreal

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto

Shea Weber, Nashville

Duncan Keith, Chicago

GOALTENDER — Three selections.

Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus

Antti Niemi, San Jose

= NHL All-Rookie Team

FORWARD — Three selections, regardless of position.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida

Brandon Saad, Chicago

Nail Yakupov, Edmonton
DEFENSE — Two selections.

Justin Schultz, Edmonton

Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles

GOAL — One selection.

Jacob Markstrom, Florida

 

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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