Anaheim Ducks' Corey Perry poses with the Maurice Richard and the Hart Memorial trophies after winning them at the 2011 NHL Awards, Wednesday, June 22, 2011, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Corey Perry barely had to speak.
The look on the face of the Anaheim Ducks forward said everything about how much it meant to be given the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night. In fact, Perry even got a little choked up after accepting an award that is inscribed with names like Howe, Gretzky and Lemieux.
"(I) didn't know what to expect coming in and all of sudden you hear your name and you're like 'woah,'" said Perry. "It surprised me. I've got to give a lot of credit to my teammates and I've got a lot of family and friends here so it's pretty special."
He beat out Vancouver's Daniel Sedin and Tampa's Martin St. Louis to claim the trophy given to a player deemed to be the most valuable to his team.
No one could have predicted this back in February. It was around that time Perry started on an unbelievable run that saw him score 19 goals in the final 16 games of the regular season to become the only player in the league to hit the 50-goal barrier.
He finished the year right on hockey's magic number for goal-scoring—good enough to vault him into elite company as a winner of the Hart Trophy.
"I haven't sat down and looked at it, but obviously you do know who is on that list and on that trophy," said Perry. "It's a pretty remarkable list. Just in the recent years, the guys that have won this.
"It's going to take some time to sink in."
The 26-year-old has steadily improved during his time in the NHL and was part of the Canadian team that won gold at the Vancouver Olympics last year.
However, it's still going to take some time to get used to the fact he'll now be able to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and see his name etched in to one of the league's most prestigious pieces of hardware.
"I've been there a couple times and you see all those trophies in there," said Perry. "All of a sudden, you're holding one of them. It's pretty cool. It's kind of like a dream come true I guess."
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