The NHL announced today that Alexander Ovechkin was named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay award as the league's most outstanding player, as voted on by his peers. The award, previously named the Lester B. Pearson Award, is voted on by the members of NHL Players Association. Ovechkin won the award three seasons in a row from 2007-08 through 2009-10. He was also a finalist for the award in his rookie season of 2005-06.
By many standards, Alex Ovechkin was the most outstanding player in the league. He was certainly the flashiest and helped his team capture the Southeast Division title. He led the league in goals with 32, no one else had more than 29. He led the league with 16 powerplay goals on the league's top powerplay unit, no one else had more than 10. Ovechkin finished third in league scoring with 56 points and led the league with 27 powerplay points. He led the league with 220 shots on goal, 30 more than second place, and fired another 98 shots that missed the target. He played all 48 games and finished 7th in total ice time among forwards (1,002:27), but first in powerplay ice time (220:30), more than 18 minutes ahead of second place. He also finished 21st among forwards in hits with 120, snagged 30 takeaways to only 25 giveaways, and went 3-for-3 in shootouts, all wins. Of course, he did this while switching from left wing to right wing.
The league's leading scorer, Martin St. Louis, was also named a finalist for the award. St. Louis paced the league with 43 assists and 60 points, all at the tender age of 37, making him the oldest player ever to win the Art Ross Trophy,. St. Louis also finished second in total ice time among forwards (1,055:12), less than two minutes behind league leader Steven Stamkos. Like Ovechkin, St. Louis also has a full trophy case, having won this award in 2003-04, the first time he won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer and the Hart Trophy as league MVP, all in the same season he won the Stanley Cup. He also won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the league's most gentlemanly player twice in a row starting in 2009-10. St. Louis will have a harder time winning the award because his team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, missed the playoffs.
The other finalist was Sidney Crosby.