This morning the National Hockey League named the Dallas Stars Jamie Benn, Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane and Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby as the finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy. According to an NHL press release, the Hart Memorial Trophy is given to the player “adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.” All three of these players have showcased how important they are to their own teams throughout the 2015-16 NHL season and even into playoffs, for some.
Patrick Kane has already been named the winner of the Art Ross Trophy (as the leading scorer in the 2015-16 season) and finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award (for most outstanding player), along with his Hart nomination. The reigning Stanley Cup champion posted his most impressive numbers this past season, setting career highs in goals (46), assists (60) and points (106). Kane recorded at least one point in 78% of the games he played in this season (64 of 82 games), along with setting a franchise record 26-game point streak. His impressive season led him to becoming the first U.S. born player to win the scoring title in League history.
Jamie Benn is in just about the same boat as Patrick Kane, having won the Art Ross Trophy last season as well as being named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award. Benn didn’t fall too far behind Kane in the running for the Art Ross Trophy this season, finishing second with 89 points. His career high 41 goals was an impressive accomplishment for the captain, making him the first Dallas player to score 40 plus goals in a season since Mike Modano (50) in the 1993-94 season. With his Hart Trophy nomination, Benn becomes the first player in Dallas Stars history to become a finalist for the award.
Sidney Crosby didn’t fall too far behind the aforementioned Kane and Benn in the Art Ross standings. The already two-time winner (2007,2014) placed third, with 85 points (36 G, 49 A). Crosby became the only player this season to have more than one point in a streak of ten or more games, including a seven-game goal streak. Crosby led the Penguins to an impressive second-half of the season, having recorded at least one point in 20 of their last 21 games (11 G, 18 A). The Penguins’ star is a Hart nominee for the fifth time in his career, in which he has won it two other times (2006-07 & 2013-14).
The winner will be announced on June 22nd at the NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.