Alexander Ovechkin made multiple trips to the podium last night at the 2008 NHL Awards ceremony. He was given the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring (112 points), and the Rocket Richard Trophy for having the most goals in the regular season (65). Ovechkin was the first player since Mario Lemieux to score 60 goals in one season. He was then voted to the Lester B. Pearson Award as the league’s most outstanding player, based on the opinions of the Players’ Association. Finally, at the end of the night, Ovechkin beat out Jarome Iginla of Calgary and fellow Russian Evgeny Malkin of the Penguins for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL MVP. Throughout it all, the quiet superstar repeatedly passed the glory to his teammates and coaching staff. He expressed a desire to have competed for the Stanley Cup and indicated that he hopes to do so within the next season.

Ovechkin’s coach, Bruce Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, after turning around the Capitals’ season and guiding them to the playoffs. Nicklas Lidstrom won his 6th Norris Trophy, after a season in which he scored 70 points and finished with a +40 rating. Only Bobby Orr and Doug Harvey have more Norris Trophies. Orr has 8 and Harvey has 7.

The Red Wings had a few more players honored last night as well. Gordie Howe was given the first ever NHL Lifetime Achievement award. Pavel Datsyuk beat out linemate and Conn Smythe winner Henrik Zetterberg for the Selke Award, given to the league’s best defensive forward. Datsyuk also won his 3rd straight Lady Byng Trophy as the league’s most gentlemanly player. No player has won three straight in over 70 years.

Patrick Kane edged teammate and fellow rookie Jonathan Toews for the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year. Kane is the first Blackhawk to win the award in over 15 years. Martin Brodeur won his 4th Vezina in the last 5 years, while the only man who has won more Vezinas than Brodeur, Dominik Hasek, shared the William Jennings Trophy with Chris Osgood as the goalie tandem that allowed the fewest goals in the regular season.

Jason Blake of the Toronto Maple Leafs earned the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and determination after playing a complete season while battling leukemia, while Vincent Lecavalier won the King Clancy for off-ice leadership.

Len robinson
Sports Pundit member

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