Crosby, Ovechkin, Sedin Are NHL Most Valuable Player Finalists

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins picks up his helmet after a scrum during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quaterfinals against the Ottawa Senators during the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. Photographer: Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Sedin were named finalists for the National Hockey League’s Hart Memorial Trophy, which is given to the league’s most valuable player.

The winner will be named at the 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 23, the league said in a news release. They were the top three scorers in the NHL during the regular season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Crosby, who earned the honor in the 2006-2007 season, scored a career-best 51 goals this year to tie for the NHL lead with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos. Crosby also tied Ovechkin for second place in the overall points lead with 109.

Ovechkin is seeking his third straight Hart Memorial Trophy after leading the Washington Capitals to the best regular-season record in the Eastern Conference, a 54-15-13 mark. The Capitals were upset by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs, falling in seven games after holding a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Ovechkin led the NHL in points per game (1.51) and goals per game (0.69), joining Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players with four 50-goal seasons in their first five NHL campaigns. He’d be the first player to be named MVP three straight times since Gretzky accomplished the feat a record eight consecutive times from 1980-1987.

The Vancouver Canucks’ Sedin led the NHL with 112 points, scoring 29 goals and assisting on 83 others. It was his first nomination for the award and he would be the first Canuck to claim it.

The winner was selected in voting by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the conclusion of the regular season.

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