Chicago, IL – The NHL finished handing out its season awards on Saturday, and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals took home the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player of the league.
Ovechkin won the award for the third time in his career (2008, 2009) as the Russian star became the eighth player with as many as three MVPs, joining Wayne Gretzky (9), Gordie Howe (6), Eddie Shore (4), Bobby Clarke (3), Mario Lemieux (3), Howie Morenz (3) and Bobby Orr (3).
Ovechkin led the NHL this season with 32 goals, scoring 24 in his final 23 games and tied with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for third in the league with 56 points. He was first in power-play goals with 16 and led the Capitals to their fifth Southeast Division title in the past six years. The 27-year-old Moscow native was also a finalist in 2010.
John Tavares of the New York Islanders and Crosby were also in the running for the award.
Crosby won the Ted Lindsay award for most outstanding players as voted by fellow players for the second time in his career.
Crosby tied for third in the league with 56 points despite missing the final 12 games of the season because of a broken jaw. His 41 assists were second in the NHL and his points-per-game average of 1.56 led the league.
The 25-year-old native of Nova Scotia posted a career-best plus-26 rating and helped Pittsburgh to the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
"It was nice. That's not something that you're thinking about during the season," said Crosby. "But to be recognized by the guys that you play against, I think it's obviously a compliment. Happy with the regular season. Felt like it was pretty good, for the most part."
Also up for the award were Ovechkin, who had won the honor three times previously, and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis, who won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the NHL in points this season with 60.
Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau took home the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.
Huberdeau notched 14 goals and 17 assists in playing all 48 games this season. His 31 points tied for first among NHL rookies. The 19-year-old was chosen with the third overall pick of the 2011 NHL Draft and recorded the most points by a teenager in Panthers history.
Montreal's Brendan Gallagher and Chicago's Brandon Saad were the other two nominees for the rookie award.
"For sure, it was a surprise," said Huberdeau. "I didn't know I was going to win it. There's two other guys. It was a lot of good rookies this year."
Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets was named the Vezina Trophy winner as the top goaltender in the NHL in his first year with the team.
The 24-year-old Bobrovsky nearly backstopped the team to its second-ever playoff berth. The first Russian to win the trophy was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia last June and compiled a 21-11-6 record with four shutouts, and ranked second in the NHL this season in save percentage (.932) and sixth in goals-against average (2.00).
Bobrovsky posted a 1.64 GAA and a .945 save percentage while winning eight of his last nine decisions from April 9-27, but the Blue Jackets still missed the postseason on a tiebreaker.
"I would like to thank the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, my coaches and teammates who played so hard in front of me every night and the fans who supported us because this would not be possible without them," said Bobrovsky. "I also want to thank my family, especially my wife, Olga, my parents, Andrei and Larissa, and sister, Julia, for all of their love and support and everyone who has helped me achieve this great honor. I work hard to try to be the best player I can be and help my team win and am very honored to receive the Vezina Trophy."
Also in contention for the trophy were Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks and Henrik Lundqvist, last year's winner, of the New York Rangers.
The Norris trophy for the league's best defenseman went to P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens.
Subban notched 38 points, tying the career high he set during his rookie campaign two years ago. However, he took 77 games to reach that figure during the 2010-11 season and needed only 42 games in this truncated season.
The 24-year-old Toronto native posted 11 goals, and his seven power-play goals this past season were second-most among defensemen.
"I think as an organization, as a group, as a team, we improved this year. When you improve, everybody benefits," said Subban. "I think I'm just benefitting from our team's success this year."
It is the 12th time a Canadien has won the award, with the last going to Chris Chelios in 1989.
Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild were also nominated for the award.