Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and center Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers are the three finalists for the 2016-17 Hart Memorial Trophy, which is 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 announced Wednesday, June 21, during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Hart Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Columbus Blue Jackets
Bobrovsky led the NHL with a 2.06 goals-against average and .931 save percentage to guide the Blue Jackets (50-24-8) to their best season in club history. He also ranked in the top five in the League in wins (3rd; 41), shutouts (t-3rd; 7), saves (4th; 1,727) and starts (t-5th; 63). Bobrovsky established a career high and franchise record for victories in one season (41), shattering the mark set by Steve Mason in 2008-09 (33). He also posted career highs and franchise records with a 14-game win streak (Nov. 29 – Jan. 3) and 16-game point streak (15-0-1; Nov. 25 – Jan. 3). Also named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the League’s top goaltender, Bobrovsky is a Hart Trophy finalist for the first time and the first MVP candidate in Blue Jackets history.
Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Crosby helped the Penguins (50-21-11) post their best regular-season record since 1992-93 by scoring 44 goals, capturing his second career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s goal-scoring leader. Crosby’s goal tally, which included eight multi-goal performances, was the second-highest of his NHL career. The Penguins captain ranked second in the League in scoring (44-45—89), topped all Penguins in power-play goals (14) and shots (255), and led all Pittsburgh forwards in average ice time per game (19:52). Crosby finished second to Chicago’s Patrick Kane in Hart Trophy voting last season and is a finalist for the sixth time; he won the award in 2006-07 and 2013-14.
Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers
McDavid captured the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring leader with 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists), sparking the Oilers (47-26-9) to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. The team’s 103 standings points were the most in 30 years. McDavid registered at least one point in 59 of his 82 appearances (72.0%), highlighted by a career-high, 14-game point streak to close the season (7-18—25) – the longest by any NHL player in 2016-17. He also posted a League-best 30 multi-point performances. McDavid, who placed third in voting for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie last season, seeks to become the third player in NHL history to win MVP honors before his 21st birthday, joining Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky.
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.