Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been named a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, given annually to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player as voted on my members of the media. Crosby joins Tampa Bay Lightning forward and Art Ross Trophy winner Nikita Kucherov along with Edmonton Oiler captain Connor McDavid as finalists for the award.
This season, Crosby totaled 100 points for the first time since 2013-14, the last time he was named league MVP. With this nomination, it marks the seventh time in his illustrious career that Crosby has been named a finalist, winning twice. He was most recently in finalist in 2016 and 2017, finishing second both times to Patrick Kane and McDavid respectively.
If Crosby is to bring home his third Hart Trophy this season, he will need to pull off a major upset over heavy favorite Nikita Kucherov. Leading the league with 128 points, Kucherov blew away the competition this season, finishing 12 points better than second place McDavid while leading the Lightning to the President’s Trophy and the best regular season record of the salary cap era.
Regardless of outcome, this is a nice reward for Crosby to have his tremendous season acknowledged by the media at large. He finished 18 points better than the second highest scorer on the team, and almost single handedly dragged the Penguins to a 13th-straight Stanley Cup playoff berth.
The NHL Awards are set to be held on June 19 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.