Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2008-09 Lester B. Pearson Award

TORONTO (May 6, 2009) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals have been selected as finalists for the 2008-09 Lester B. Pearson Award. The Lester B. Pearson Award is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.

For the first time in the history of the Lester B. Pearson Award, all three finalists hail from Russia. This year will mark just the third time that a Russian player will accept the honour, following Sergei Fedorov (1993-94) and Ovechkin (2007-08). Ovechkin is looking to win the Pearson Award for the second consecutive season, and is now a three-time finalist for the award (including 2005-06). Malkin is also a finalist for the Pearson Award for the second consecutive season. Datsyuk is a Pearson Award finalist for the first time in his NHL career.

Datsyuk had an outstanding all-around season for the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, tying his personal best in points (97) and is a finalist for three other major individual honors in 2008-09: the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Frank J. Selke Trophy, and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Malkin was instrumental in helping lead the Penguins back to the postseason, while topping all NHL scorers with 113 points this season, and will receive the Art Ross Trophy for this achievement. Ovechkin had another phenomenal season in Washington, finishing second in the league in points (110) and leading the NHL in goals (56) to capture the Maurice Richard Trophy.

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