The NHL announced Jamie Benn, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane as the league’s three Hart finalists, honoring the player “adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”
The Hart finalists come with a slight shift from the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, which also honors the league’s best player, but is voted on by the players. The finalists for that award are Jamie Benn, Patrick Kane and Braden Holtby. The Hart Trophy is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
This season, Benn led the Stars back to the top of the Central Division, playing all 82 games and finishing second in the NHL with 89 points and third with 41 goals. Those are both career-high marks for the Dallas captain.
He’s the first Stars player to be named a Hart finalist.
Crosby ranked third in the NHL with 85 points in 80 games. He led the league in 20i6, posting 58 points in 44 games to help Pittsburgh play a torrid stretch that cemented their spot in the postseason, even when they were without Evgeni Malkin.
The two-time Hart winner was the only player to put up multiple point streaks of at least 10 games, and also had a seven-game goal streak, the longest by any player this season.
If Crosby won, he would become just the ninth player in league history to win the Hart Trophy at least three times. He’s been a finalist five times.
Kane led the NHL with 106 points and became the first U.S.-born player to grab the Art Ross Trophy. His 26-game point streak early in the year is a franchise record, the longest by an U.S.-born player and is the longest point streak in the NHL since the 1992-93 season.
He also crossed 40 goals for the first time in his career and scored the first hat trick of his career.
The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 22.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.