NHL: Perry wins MVP award
LAS VEGAS ó Corey Perry crashed the Sedinsí NHL MVP party.
The Anaheim Ducks forward, who scored a league-best 50 goals, won the Hart Trophy on Wednesday night. His surprise win came at the expense of scoring champion Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, who was trying to complete an unprecedented MVP double dip after his twin brother and teammate Henrik took the honors last year.
Perryís win capped the two-hour NHL Awards ceremony. Even he said he didnít expect to take home the trophy. Tampa Bayís Martin St. Louis, who won the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly and excellent play, was the third MVP finalist.
Perry surged to the goal title, scoring 19 in his final 16 games. During that stretch, Anaheim moved from 11th to fourth in the Western Conference.
The Sedins didnít pull off the back-to-back MVP wins, but they do own the past two scoring titles. Daniel won it this season with 104 points ó including 41 goals. He was second in the league with a plus-30 rating.
St. Louis had 68 assists, second to Henrik Sedinís 75, and was second to Daniel Sedin with 99 points.
Detroitís Nicklas Lidstrom returned to the awards platform by winning his seventh Norris Trophy as the leagueís best defenseman, beating out Nashvilleís Shea Weber and Bostonís Zdeno Chara.
Lidstrom tied Doug Harvey as a seven-time winner, one behind record-holder Bobby Orr.
Lidstrom won the award for the first time since 2008, the last of his second three-peat.
Tim Thomas added his second Vezina Trophy to go with his recent Stanley Cup title. The Boston Bruins goalie earned top NHL honors after a stellar season that culminated in his first championship.
Thomas set an NHL record for save percentage when he finished at .938, surpassing Dominik Hasekís .937 set in the 1998-89 season. He also had a league-low 2.00 goals-against average and nine shutouts.
Those imposing figures lifted him over fellow Vezina finalists Roberto Luongo of the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and Nashvilleís Pekka Rinne in voting by the leagueís 40 general managers.
Rinne had 25 wins in 42 starts, ranking second in save percentage.
Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins picked up the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks ended Pavel Datsyukís three-year run as Selke Trophy winner, honoring the best defensive forward.
Jeff Skinner, the 19-year-old sensation of the Carolina Hurricanes, won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
Bylsma was recognized for the job he did in leading the Penguins to the playoffs, despite being without star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for much of the season.
Mike Gillis was chosen as general manager of the year after the Canucks finished with the NHLís best regular-season record for the first time and fell one win short of their first Stanley Cup championship.
St. Louis prevented Lidstrom from having a two-win night when he captured the Lady Byng Award for the second straight year. St. Louis topped Detroitís Datsyuk in 2010, ending the Red Wings forwardís four-year run as the award winner.
St. Louis had only 12 minutes in penalties during the season in which he was second in the NHL with 99 points. He has been a Lady Byng finalist six times. Lidstrom had 20 penalty minutes and 62 points, but that wasnít enough to give him this award for the first time.
Loui Eriksson of Dallas was the third finalist after he posted 73 points and eight penalty minutes ó the fewest among the leagueís top 50 scorers.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Ian Laperriere won the NHLís Masterton Trophy for his perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey following a likely career-ending injury in 2010.
Laperriere, who topped fellow finalists Calgaryís Daymond Langkow and Anaheimís Ray Emery, blocked a shot with his face during last yearís playoffs, suffering a concussion and fractured orbital bone. He has said he wants to play again, but doctors donít believe he should.
Emery went through bone-graft surgery last April. More than a year after a puck hit his spine and fractured a vertebra, Langkow returned to play on April 1.
Before the show, hundreds of fans lined up inside and outside the Palms Casino Resort to catch glimpses of their favorite hockey players walking the red carpet.
ěYouíre a riot,î movie director Kevin Smith told ěHow I Met Your Motherî actress and Vancouver-native Cobie Smulders before they gave Lidstrom his award, poking fun at the Canadian cityís reaction to the Canucksí Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup finals.
Comedian Jay Mohr also poked fun at the city, calling the riots the ěelephant in the roomî at the start of the show.
ěWhat an un-Canadian way to behave,î Mohr said.
Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia.
The Associated Press