TORONTO - Anaheim's Corey Perry and Vancouver's Daniel Sedin have been at the heart of debate over who was the best in the NHL this season and the league's players have added a third name—Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos.
Perry, Sedin and Stamkos were named on Thursday finalists for the 2010-11 Ted Lindsay Award, which is presented annually to the NHL's outstanding player as voted by fellow members of the NHL Player's Association.
On April 28, the league announced Perry, Sedin and Stamkos' teammate Martin St. Louis as finalists for the Hart Trophy, which is given to the player deemed most valuable to his team.
The winners of both will be announced June 22 at the NHL awards in Las Vegas.
The only guarantee is that there will be a first-time winner of the Lindsay, which was won the last three years by Washington's Alexander Ovechkin.
St. Louis took both the Hart and the Lindsay, then called the Pearson Award, in 2004. He got a Hart nomination again this season after finishing second in league scoring with 99 points.
Stamkos was a scoring machine for a little over half of the season and ended up with 45 goals and 91 points, but his nomination was a surprise because he went into a tailspin and tallied only five times in the last 28 regular season games.
Neither Lightning player is expected to win either trophy, considering the performances put up by Sedin and Perry. It will be interesting to see if the media that votes for the Hart and the players who vote for the Lindsay picked the same winner.
Last year, Sedin's brother Henrik took the Hart.
Ovechkin won both awards in 2008 and 2009 and Sidney Crosby did the same in 2007, but in 2006, the Hart went to San Jose's Joe Thornton while Jaromir Jagr took the Lindsay.
Daniel Sedin is bidding to match Henrik's Hart Trophy and become the first brothers to win it in consecutive years.
Daniel had a career-high 41 goals and was plus-30 as the Canucks took their first President's Trophy for finishing first overall in the 30-team league.
Perry was the league's only 50-goal scorer, but his trophy appeal comes largely from how he played while leading the Ducks from 11th place to fourth during the playoff drive. The 25-year-old scored 19 goals in the final 14 games.
The runaway favourite at mid-season for both awards was Crosby, who had 32 goals and 66 points in 41 games before his season was ended by a concussion suffered from hits to the head first at the Winter Classic outdoor game and again in the Penguin's next game.