Jagr, Thornton, Kiprusoff named Hart Trophy finalists
NEW YORK -- Center Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks edged out right winger Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers for the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL scoring champion. As expected, both are finalists for the Hart Trophy.
|The NHL announced finalists Thursday for its major awards, including the Hart Trophy, which recognizes the league's most valuable player. Winners will be announced in Vancouver on June 22.|
San Jose acquired Thornton from the Boston Bruins on Nov. 30 in the most significant trade of the season. Thornton recorded a career-high 125 points, including 92 with the Sharks this season. Boston failed to make the playoffs while the Sharks earned the fifth playoff seed in the Western Conference.
Jagr, the Hart Trophy winner in 1999 as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, set franchise records with 54 goals and 123 points for the Rangers, who made the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
Kiprusoff won his first William Jennings Trophy as the goaltender on the team that allowed the fewest goals (200) in the league. He led the NHL with a 2.03 goals-against average and 10 shutouts and ranked second in wins (42) and third in save percentage (.923).
Finalists were also announced on Thursday for the Vezina Trophy, Norris Trophy, Calder Trophy, Selke Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy and the Adams Award. Winners will be announced in Vancouver on June 22.
Brodeur, who has won the award each of the last two seasons, led the NHL with 43 wins and Lundqvist, the gold medal-winning goalie for Sweden in the Winter Olympics, was 30-12-9 with a 2.24 GAA.
Crosby became the youngest player to tally 100 points in a season at 18 years, 8 months. He led all rookies with 63 assists and ranked second in goals (39) and points (102).
Ovechkin led all rookies in scoring with 106 points and became the second rookie in NHL history to tally 50 goals (52) and 100 points in a season since Teemu Selanne in 1992-93.
Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings, Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Sergei Zubov of the Dallas Stars are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, honoring the league's top defenseman.
Lidstrom won the award three consecutive seasons (2001-03) and led all defenseman in scoring with a career-high 80 points, including 16 goals, and ranked third in ice time with more than 28 minutes per game.
Niedermayer won the Norris Trophy as a member of the Devils in 2004. He ranked sixth among defenseman with 63 points, including 13 goals, and averaged 25½ minutes per game.
Zubov finished second among defenseman with 71 points, including 13 goals. He ranked sixth in ice time with nearly 26½ minutes.
Right winger Jere Lehtinen of Dallas and centers Rod Brind'Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes and Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators are the finalists for the Selke Trophy, honoring the league's best defensive forward.
Lehtinen won the award in 1998, 1999 and 2003 and is trying to become the second four-time winner. Bob Gainey captured the honor the first four years it was presented (1978-81).
Brind'Amour led all forwards in ice time (24:17) and Fisher recorded a plus-minus of plus-23 with four shorthanded goals.
The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. Centers Pavel Datsyuk of the Red Wings, Patrick Marleau of the Sharks and Brad Richards of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the finalists. Richards won the award in 2004.
Peter Laviolette of the Hurricanes, Tom Renney of the Rangers and Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres were selected as the finalists for the Adams Award, honoring the coach of the year.
Laviolette guided the Hurricanes to the best record in franchise history (52-22-8, 112 points). Renney took the Rangers to the playoffs for the first time since 1997, compiling a 44-26-12 record. Ruff directed the Sabres to a franchise-best 52 wins (52-24-6) and 110 points.
Also on Thursday, Thornton, Jagr and Ovechkin were named as finalists for the Lester B. Pearson Award, the league's Most Outstanding Player as voted on by the NHL Players Association.