NHL Awards: Hart Memorial Trophy
Alex Ovechkin, Carey Price, and John Tavares have been named the nominees of the Hart Memorial Trophy. Awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team,” – essentially the MVP of the NHL.
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
There’s a reason why he’s called Ovi the Great.
Ovechkin scored 53 goals which earned him his third straight and fifth career Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy. He posted 81 points, his most point total since 2010-2011. On top of that he set a career-high and franchise record of 25 power play goals and led the NHL with 11 game-winning goals.
At just 29 years old, Ovechkin became the sixth player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season 6 different times. He’s a finalist for the fifth time after winning the Hart three times in 2008, 2009 and 2013 and was a runner-up in 2010.
Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price had a career-year and an outstanding season.
A Hart finalist for the first time and the first goaltender since Henrik Lundqvist to be nominated, Price led the NHL in wins (44), goals against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933). He became the first goalie since Ed Belfour to lead all goalies in all three categories since 1990-1991. He’s not done there, he also surpassed Jacques Plante’s franchise record for wins in one season (42) set in 1955-1956.
A goalie has won the Hart Trophy just seven times in its 90 year history. Jose Theodore of the Montreal Canadiens was the last goalie to win the NHL’s Most Valuable Player award back in the 2001-2002 season.
John Tavares – New York Islanders
Tavares had the most productive season of his career. The 2009 1st overall pick set a career-high in goals (38) and points (86) as he finished second to Jamie Benn in the Art Ross trophy race.
Tavares appeared in all 82 games, registered at least one point in 65.9% of his contests (54/82), including a four-game streak to open the season (2 goals 7 assists for 9 points) and a six-game run to close the campaign (4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points).
He captained the Islanders to their best regular season record since 1983-1984, finishing with a 42-27-7 record for 101 points. Tavares is a Hart Trophy finalist for the second time after finishing third in voting in 2013.