Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's most dynamic scorer and colorful entertainer, has been named Sporting News' Player of the Year, an opinion shared by 147 of his 292 peers who voted for the award.
Ovechkin, a repeat MVP, led the league with 56 goals, the only player to finish the season with 50 or more. He joined Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players to record three 50-goal seasons in their first four years.
Craig Custance and Sean Deveney, Sporting News, May 21, 2009:
In a poll of 292 players, Alex Ovechkin became SN's first back-to-back winner since Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr (1999-2000).
The top three:
1. Alex Ovechkin, Capitals 147
2. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins 65
3. Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings 23
"He seems to be growing more and more every year," said Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo.
Update or sorry Pens fans, Sid finished 8th:
By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazzete, May 21, 2009,
A lot of people in Pittsburgh think Sidney Crosby is the best player in the National Hockey League. A lot of players in the National Hockey League think otherwise.
In an astonishing survey of 324 NHL players -- roughly half the league -- conducted by Sports Illustrated, Crosby finished tied for eighth with a meager 1.9 percent of the vote.
Washington's Alex Ovechkin was the overwhelming winner among the players, receiving 51 percent of the vote. Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom was second with 11 percent.
The next four were the Penguins Evgeni Malkin and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk seven percent; Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg five percent.
The magazine did not list the players who finished sixth and seventh but made a special note of Crosby's finish because it was so shocking.
The voting, in which players could not vote for their teammates, was done before the start of the playoffs. Crosby leads all players in goals and points in the playoffs. He finished third in scoring during the regular season, behind Malkin and Ovechkin.
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