Full trophy case
Full trophy case
Worlds stars boast NHL hardware
It’s a bumper crop of talent from the world’s top league this year, and it could get even richer as we head toward the gold medal game at the O2 Arena on May 17.
Three players best-known for wearing Pittsburgh Penguins colours are past winners of the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP (or, officially, the player judged to be most valuable to his team). They are the Czech Republic’s Jaromir Jagr (1999), Canada’s Sidney Crosby (2007), and Russia’s Yevgeni Malkin (2012).
Jagr, of course, is also a five-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy as top scorer (1995, 1998-2001). Crosby (2007, 2014) and Malkin (2009, 2012) join him as multiple recipients.
In addition, Malkin is noteworthy as the first Russian ever to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP (2009). He earned the Calder Trophy as the top NHL rookie (2007), a feat most recently matched by Canada’s Nathan MacKinnon (2014).
Sergei Bobrovski also broke new ground for Russians when he earned the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie (2013).
The Lady Byng Trophy for sportmanship and gentlemanly conduct last went to Canada’s Ryan O’Reilly (2014). Even off-ice stand-outs are represented, as Dan Bylsma, who won the Jack Adams Award with Pittsburgh as the NHL’s best coach (2011), is serving as an assistant coach with the Americans.
The biggest omissions so far this year are the Norris Trophy for the best defenceman, the Selke Trophy for the top defensive forward, and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the top goal-scorer.
The latter could theoretically change - but only if the New York Rangers rally from a 3-1 series deficit against the Washington Capitals in the second round of the playoffs.
Russia’s Alexander Ovechkin, the captain of the Capitals, is a five-time Rocket Richard winner (2008-09, 2013-15), and no NHL superstar is more faithful about representing his nation at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship when available. The “Great 8” has played in 10 Worlds dating back to 2004.
There are also undoubtedly stars in Prague and Ostrava who will be adding NHL trophies to their resumes in the future.
Interestingly, at this point, there are more players at the Worlds who finished in the top 10 in regular-season NHL scoring than in the NHL playoffs. The foursome includes Canada’s Crosby and Tyler Seguin, the Czech Republic’s Jakub Voracek, and Russia’s Vladimir Tarasenko. (The three top-10 scorers left in the post-season are Washington’s Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and Calgary’s Jiri Hudler.)
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