According to the Canadian Press on Thursday, Canadian Olympic gold medalists Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks have been nominated for the Hart Trophy as the National Hockey League's most valuable player. Crosby, from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, led the NHL in 2013-14 with 68 assists and his NHL leading 104 points helped him win the Art Ross Trophy this season.
Getzlaf, who is from Regina, Saskatchewan, had 87 points this season, which was second in the NHL during the regular season. He was also an impressive +28, which was +10 better than Crosby.
Crosby and Getzlaf won a gold medal in men's hockey for Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Both players are also still able to win a Stanley Cup this season. Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division final and Getzlaf's Anaheim Ducks are playing the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division final.
The other nominee for the Hart Trophy is Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers. The native of Hearst, Ontario was third in the NHL this year with 86 points.
There are six other Canadian Olympic gold medalists who have been nominated for major awards. Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks have been nominated for the Selke Award presented to the top defensive forward.
Bergeron, who was a +38 this season, has come back remarkably after experiencing issues with concussions just a few years ago. Toews meanwhile was a +26 for a Chicago team that won 46 games this season. Toews and Bergeron will be up against Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.
Canadian Olympic gold medalists Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks and Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning are up against Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche for the Lady Byng Award presented to the most gentlemanly player. The fact that O'Reilly only took one minor penalty all season in eighty games is mind boggling and should win this year.
Canadian Olympic gold medalists Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks are up against Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins for the Norris Trophy presented to the best defenseman. Weber led all defensemen with 23 goals and led the Predators with 56 points. However Keith might have an edge on Weber because he had 61 points, and was a plus player (+23) compared to Weber's -2. Chara only had 40 points this season, but did play on a Bruins team that gave up an Eastern Conference least 177 goals.