Vancouver Canucks' Sami Salo, right, of Finland, chases down Pittsburg Penguins' Sidney Crosby during second periond of NHL hockey action at GM Place in Vancouver, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
TORONTO - Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby won the 2007 Lou Marsh Award on Tuesday, the first hockey player to capture the honour since 1993.
The award, decided by a panel of sports editors and broadcasters, is given annually to Canada's outstanding athlete by the Toronto Star.
Other finalists were Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash of Victoria, alpine skier Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant, Que., kayaker Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., and boxer Steve Molitor of Sarnia, Ont.
Crosby, who won in a close vote, is the first hockey player to win the award since Mario Lemieux in '93.
The 20-year-old forward from Cole Harbour, N.S., won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP last season and was named the Pearson Award winner by his peers as the league's outstanding player.
Crosby recorded 36 goals and 84 assists in the 2006-07 season en route to becoming the youngest NHLer to win the Art Ross Trophy as the league's scoring champion.
Crosby was only the seventh player in league history to pull off the Ross-Pearson-Hart triple.
Nash finished second in NBA MVP voting last season while Guay won five medals on the World Cup circuit. Van Koeverden was a world champion in the 500 metres and Molitor successfully defended his IBF super-bantamweight title twice in 2007.
The panel of Marsh voters comprised representatives from the Toronto Star, The Canadian Press, the FAN590/Primetime Sports, The Globe and Mail, CBC, Rogers Sportsnet, CTV/TSN, Montreal La Presse and the National Post.
The Lou Marsh Award is named after a former Toronto Star sports editor. Speedskater Cindy Klassen won the award last year, narrowly defeating Nash in the vote.
The Canadian Press announces its athlete of the year award winners later this month. The Canadian Press awards are decided by sports editors and broadcasters across the country.