The Hart Trophy goes to the NHL's Most Valuable Player as voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (as opposed to the Ted Lindsay Award, which is voted upon by the players themselves). The award will be handed out shortly after 4:00 p.m. Central today (prior to tonight's Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final), and was won last year by Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin.
Who will take the trophy this time around? Your finalists are...
#87 / Center / Pittsburgh Penguins
Aug 07, 1987
|2012 - Sidney Crosby||36||15||41||56||+26||16||3||0||1||124||12.1|
He would have led the league in scoring by a long way if not for a broken jaw which cost him the final quarter of the season.
#8 / Right Wing / Washington Capitals
Sep 17, 1985
|2012 - Alex Ovechkin||48||32||24||56||+2||36||16||0||4||220||14.5|
Some critics have been eager to declare Ovechkin's time as passed, but he ended up leading the league in shots, goals, and total points.
#91 / Center / New York Islanders
Sep 20, 1990
|2012 - John Tavares||48||28||19||47||-2||18||9||0||5||162||17.3|
He's going to be the toast of Brooklyn quite soon, once the Islanders escape the bowels of Nassau Coliseum.
OTF Staff Picks
Here's a sampling of how the OTF crew would have submitted ballots:
|Dirk||Sergei Bobrovsky||Sidney Crosby||Jonathan Toews||Alex Ovechkin||Taylor Hall||I don't care if they just missed the playoffs, the fact that Columbus was even close is a tribute to Bobrovsky's stellar season.|
|Sam||Alex Ovechkin||Steven Stamkos||Sidney Crosby||Patrick Kane||John Tavares||Everyone writing that the Islanders would be nothing without Tavares don't watch the Islanders. He plays soft minutes.|
|Caroline||John Tavares||Sergei Bobrovsky||Alex Ovechkin||Sidney Crosby||Jimmy Howard||I really don't know if there is another team that thrives on the success of one player more than the Islanders.|
|Jonathan||Alex Ovechkin||Sergei Bobrovsky||John Tavares||Jonathan Toews||Sidney Crosby||The Capitals would not have completed a remarkable turnaround from last to division champs without the Great 8. He put the team on his back and carried them before they were ready to compete. Not to mention he had twice as many goals as anyone else in April, and had almore more PPGs than THE BOSTON BRUINS.|
|Chris||John Tavares||Alexander Ovechkin||Sergei Bobrovsky||Sidney Crosby||Zach Parise||Tavares is the New York Islanders. Without him, this team wouldn't be close to sniffing the playoffs.|
|George||Alex Ovechkin||Patrick Kane||John Tavares||Sergei Bobrovsky||Antti Niemi||The Capitals struggled early this year as Adam Oates tried to remake the organization from the bench for the third time in as many years. His greatest challenge? Reaching Alex Ovechkin, who finally bought in, and led the team's late-season turnaround, pushing them into the playoffs by the only way any Southeast Division team was going to make the dance this year: taking the division title.|
|Jason||John Tavares||Alexander Ovechkin||Patrick Kane||Sidney Crosby||Sergei Bobrovsky||Just don't think the Islanders would've made the playoffs without him. He may not be the best player, but he's my "Most Valuable".|