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Rossi: My NHL Awards ballot


How about a brief break from the Penguins’ coaching search?

OK, glad we agree on that.

Sidney Crosby is in Las Vegas for the NHL Award Show. There, he is expected to collect the Hart Trophy (MVP), Lindsay Award (Players’ player) and be named as an NHL first-team All-Star.

However, on Monday Crosby was in Vancouver to collect his Olympic championship ring – and he kind of opened up in an interview with good friend Pierre LeBrun of

The standout quote from Crosby concerned the Penguins’ identity:

“We have to find a way in the playoffs to elevate our game,” Crosby said. “It doesn’t mean change our identity, but we have to elevate it. We haven’t done quite as good a job at doing that. Me, personally, I’m not taking myself out of that mix either – going pointless against Boston (2013 conference final) and not really doing a whole lot in the New York series. It’s not easy to deal with that in the offseason. You don’t like having memories like that.”

Crosby has said the proper thing so often during his NHL career. His seeming inability to publicly acknowledge his part in Penguins’ recent playoff disappointments has at times – especially during the 2014 postseason – appeared to be a character flaw regarding his leadership.

In the interview with LeBrun, Crosby came as close as he has to taking on his shoulders the load a captain is expected to carry when his team underachieves.

Of course, Crosby achieved as much as any player could during the regular season. He should be rewarded at the NHL Awards on Tuesday night. Select members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association vote on some of the NHL Awards. My full ballot:



  1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  2. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim
  3. Tyler Seguin, Dallas
  4. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
  5. Patrick Marleau, San Jose



  1. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles
  2. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis
  3. Shea Weber, Nashville
  4. Ryan Suter, Minnesota
  5. Zdeno Chara, Boston



  1. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado
  2. Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh
  3. Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim
  4. Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay
  5. Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay



  1. Phil Kessel, Toronto
  2. Jordan Eberle, Edmonton
  3. Tyler Seguin, Dallas
  4. Patrick Marleau, San Jose
  5. Matt Duchene, Colorado



  1. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles
  2. Patrice Bergeron, Boston
  3. David Backes, St. Louis
  4. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  5. Marian Hossa, Chicago




  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  • Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim
  • Tyler Seguin, Dallas


  • Jamie Benn, Dallas
  • Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh
  • Patrick Sharp, Chicago


  • Corey Perry, Anaheim
  • Phil Kessel, Toronto
  • Alex Ovechkin, Washington


  • Drew Doughty, Los Angeles
  • Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis
  • Shea Weber, Nashville
  • Ryan Suter, Minnesota
  • Zdeno Chara, Boston
  • Erik Karlsson, Ottawa


  • Tuukka Rask, Boston
  • Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay
  • Semyon Varlamov, Colorado




  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado
  • Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay
  • Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay


  • Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh
  • Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim


  • Eddie Lack, Vancouver



Be EXCELLENT to each other,





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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