Conn Smythe Trophy winner Henrik Zetterberg has added another honour to his 2007-08 collection, as the Detroit Red Wings forward has been named the first TSN NHL Player of the Year. The honour goes to the most outstanding player of the full season (regular season and playoffs) and was voted on by a 30-member panel consisting of current NHL players, coaches and GMs, the NHLPA executive director and the NHL on TSN broadcast team.
TSN will donate $5,000 (Cdn.) to Zetterberg's charity of choice in recognition of this honour.
The inaugural TSN NHL Player of the Year featured a showdown between playoff co-scoring leader and MVP, Zetterberg, and regular season scoring leader and MVP, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. Zetterberg prevailed with 97 points including 13 first-place votes, while Ovechkin was runner up with 81 points and 12 first-place nods. Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom finished third with 38 points including three first-place votes. (See detailed voting results below.)
While leading the Detroit Red Wings to their 11th Stanley Cup championship, Zetterberg tied for the playoff lead in goals scored (13) - among them the Stanley Cup-winning goal - and total points (27) to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Ovechkin led the regular season in goals (65) and total points (112) to become just the second player to win both the Rocket Richard Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy in the same season, leading the Capitals back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03. At last night's NHL Awards, Ovechkin captured both the Hart Trophy and Pearson Award.
Six-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom became the first European-born and trained captain to win the Stanley Cup. Lidstrom led all defensemen in regular season assists (60), points (70) and plus/minus rating (+40).
While the NHL's Hart Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy honour the league's most valuable player for the regular season and playoffs, respectively, the TSN NHL Player of the Year recognizes the most outstanding player based on combined performance in the regular season and playoffs.
Voters include NHL GMs Brian Burke, Cliff Fletcher, Kevin Lowe and Bryan Murray; NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly; NHL coaches Guy Carbonneau, Wayne Gretzky, Tom Renney and Alain Vigneault; and NHL players Martin Biron, Ryan Miller, Martin St. Louis, Joe Sakic, Joe Thornton and Marty Turco. Voters ranked their top three choices; first place votes were worth 5 points, second-place votes, 3 points, and third-place votes, 1 point.
VOTING RESULTS (5-3-1 point system)
1. Henrik Zetterberg (97 points)
2. Alexander Ovechkin (81 points)
3. Nicklas Lidstrom (38 points)