(via NHL Communications) - Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid are the three finalists for the 2018-19 Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Hart Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed Wednesday, June 19, during the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Hart Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Crosby (35-65—100 in 79 GP) reached the 100-point milestone for the sixth time in his 14 NHL seasons to propel the Penguins to their 13th consecutive playoff berth, the longest active streak in the League. Only five players in NHL history have recorded more 100-point campaigns: Wayne Gretzky (15), Mario Lemieux (10), Marcel Dionne (8), Mike Bossy (7) and Peter Stastny (7). Crosby, who ranked sixth in overall scoring, also reached the 30-goal milestone for the ninth time and 60-assist plateau for the sixth time. He picked up his 1,200th career point March 5 vs. FLA, requiring the 11th-fewest games in NHL history to achieve the feat (927 GP). A two-time Hart Trophy winner (2006-07 and 2013-14), Crosby also topped Pittsburgh forwards in both time on ice (1,658:21) and plus/minus (+18). The 31-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S., native – who is a Hart Trophy finalist for the seventh time – is vying to become the ninth player to win the award at least three times.
Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning
Kucherov (41-87—128 in 82 GP) led the NHL with 128 points – the most by any player since 1995-96 – and 87 assists – the most by any player since 2006-07 – to capture his first career Art Ross Trophy and help the Lightning tie a League record for wins in one season (62). Kucherov, who also topped the NHL in power-play scoring (15-33—48), collected at least one point in 62 of 82 appearances (75.6%). That included a League-best 38 multi-point games, highlighted by a pair of five-point performances: Dec. 22 at EDM (1-4—5) and Feb. 18 at CBJ (2-3—5). The 25-year-old Maykop native, who set franchise records for assists and points in one campaign, also broke Alexander Mogilny’s single-season NHL record for points by a Russian-born player (76-51—127 in 1992-93 w/ BUF). Kucherov is seeking to become the second player in Tampa Bay history to take home the Hart Trophy, following Martin St. Louis’ win in 2003-04.
Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers
McDavid (41-75—116 in 78 GP) factored on 50.7 percent of Edmonton’s 229 goals, the highest figure of any player in the League, as he raised his point total for the fourth time in as many NHL seasons. McDavid – who ranked second in overall scoring – never went consecutive games without a point, becoming the eighth player in League history to achieve the feat within a single campaign (minimum: 50 GP). The others: Gretzky (7x); Lemieux (3x); and Paul Kariya, Jari Kurri, Elmer Lach, Darry Sittler and Steve Yzerman (1x). McDavid did so while topping NHL forwards in average time on ice (22:50) and sharing second place among all skaters with a career-best nine game-winning goals (including three in overtime). The 22-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native – who won the Hart Trophy in 2016-17 – is attempting to join Gretzky (4x) as the second player in League history to capture the award multiple times prior to his 23rd birthday.
The Hart Memorial Trophy was presented by the NHL in 1960 after the original Hart Trophy was retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The original Hart Trophy was donated to the NHL in 1924 by Dr. David A. Hart, father of Cecil Hart, former manager-coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone
The NHL Awards™ returns to Las Vegas this summer at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone will be held Wednesday, June 19, at Mandalay Bay Events Center. It marks the first year that the NHL Awards™ will be held at the resort’s sports and entertainment venue as well as the first time that Bridgestone will serve as the presenting sponsor of the event. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone live in the United States and Canada, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Tickets to the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone are on sale to the general public at www.nhl.com/awardstickets. This ticket opportunity is available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
This will be the 11th year of a successful partnership between Las Vegas and the League and the 10th time that the NHL will honor the best hockey players in the world and the top performances of the season in Las Vegas. Prior Las Vegas venues that have hosted the NHL Awards™ include Palms Hotel (2009-11); Encore at Wynn Las Vegas (2012 and 2014); MGM Grand Garden Arena (2015); The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (2016 and 2018); and T‑Mobile Arena (2017).
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment will be announced at a future date. Fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.
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