The NHL today announced the three finalists for this year’s Hart Trophy, which goes to the player voted “most valuable to his team.”
Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin, who won last year’s award, will try to become the first repeat winner of the Hart since Dominik Hasek in 1997 and 1998. His competition, however, will be stiff. Longtime friend and rival Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh and fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit are both looking for their first Hart.
I’m a tad ashamed to say that Datsyuk didn’t even make my top five when I voted. It’s just too difficult to pick one player from the Red Wings who’s “most valuable” and I felt that as far as one player being vital to a team’s fortunes, there was at least five other guys that fell into that category. I picked Ovechkin first and Malkin third with Columbus goaltender Steve Mason second.
As for a Bruins team Hart winner, I’m partial to defenseman Zdeno Chara. I even voted the captain fourth in my overall ballot. But a strong case can be made for goaltender Tim Thomas or center Marc Savard.