May 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) skates with the puck against the New York Rangers during the second period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won 2-1 and took the series 4 games to 3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby wins Hart Trophy

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins beat out Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.

It has been seven years since Crosby won the Hart as injuries have robbed the game’s top talent of more individual accolades that have gone to his teammate, Evgeni Malkin, and Washington Capitals sniper and prodigious goal scorer Alex Ovechkin who has won the award three times.

Crosby won the Ted Lindsay Award earlier on the night as the league’s most outstanding player and was a prohibitive favorite to win the Hart after leading the NHL in scoring with 104 points this season.

He scored 17 more points than Getzlaf as the margin between one and two was the largest since Jaromir Jagr led the league in points by 20 in the 1998-1999 season.

Crosby is now one behind Mario Lemieux as the franchise leader in Hart Trophy’s with Lemieux winning his third in 1995-1996, but has a long way to go to catch Wayne Gretzky who won the award nine times.

Crosby’s ability has never been in question as he has led the NHL in points per game over the last four seasons, but it’s his ability to stay on the ice after dealing with lingering issues with concussions and a broken jaw that ended his regular season 12 games early last year.

If Crosby is able to stay healthy over the better part of the next 10 years, it’s certainly reasonable to expect Crosby to match Gordie Howe who won the award six times although he faces stiff competition from the likes of Ovechkin, Malkin, Steven Stamkos, and Patrick Kane, among others

The Hart Trophy has been awarded since the 1923-1924 season and is named in honor of Canadian Dr. David Hart who donated the original trophy to the NHL and was the father of Cecil Hart who was a coach and general manager for the Montreal Canadiens.

Tags: Hart Trophy Hockey Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby

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