Washington Capitals star forward Alex Ovechkin pulled off the kind of repeat the Detroit Red Wings dreamed about by snagging the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP for the second straight year last night.
Ovechkin also walked off with the NHL Players' Association's Lester B. Pearson Award, given to the most outstanding player in voting by fellow players.
"What a life," Ovechkin said after winning the Pearson for his first jackpot at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Ovechkin led the league with 56 goals and was second with 110 points. Voters for the Hart Trophy overwhelmingly picked Ovechkin over Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, awarding him 115 of 131 first-place votes to make him the first back-to-back Hart winner since Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek in 1997 and '98.
"It's important for me. What I'm doing on the ice, it's working and I don't want to stop," Ovechkin said. "Right now, I'm the best, but next year everyone will be better."
Ovechkin said he planned to send his trophies to his family's home in Russia for safekeeping.
"My parents take care of it," the 23-year-old winger said. He also won $10,000 for the award.
Datsyuk couldn't top Ovechkin for the Hart or Pearson awards, but he did pull off a doubleplay for the second consecutive season. Datsyuk, the Red Wings' outstanding two-way center, claimed the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward and the Lady Byng for gentlemanly play and skill.
Datsyuk, who nearly helped the Red Wings to a second straight Stanley Cup title after returning from injury during the finals, has won the Lady Byng 4 consecutive years and the Selke twice in a row. The Flyers' Mike Richards was a finalist for the Selke.
The Boston Bruins made a disappointing exit in the second round of the playoffs after posting the best record in the Eastern Conference, but they took home multiple awards yesterday.
Tim Thomas, who had a 2.10 goals-against average, won the Vezina Trophy for best goalie, and 6-9 Zdeno Chara earned the Norris Trophy as top defenseman, breaking the 3-year winning streak of Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom. Bruins coach Claude Julien won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top bench boss.
Columbus goalie Steve Mason took the Calder Trophy as top rookie after leading the NHL with 10 shutouts and ranking second with a 2.29 goals-against average.
* Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur has been given a 1-year suspended sentence, fined $100 and ordered to donate $10,000 to charity for giving contradictory testimony during his son's 2007 bail hearing. Lafleur is appealing the guilty verdict handed down on May 1. *