Alexander Ovechkin has been officially nomiated by the voting members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the National Hockey League's most valuable player for the 2008-2009 season. The Hart Memorial Trophy, considered the "oldest and most prestigious individual award in hockey", is awarded annually to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his respective team.
Ovechkin is attempting to become the first repeat Hart winner since Dominik Hasek led the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup in 1997-98, and is also hoping to become the first forward to repeat as the Hart winner since Wayne Gretzky led the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup in 1984-85. Gretzky won the Hart Trophy eight times in a row and nine times total, tops in both categories. No left winger had won the Hart since Bobby Hull in 1966. Ovechkin already captured his second straight Rocket Richard Trophy for 08/09 season by leading the league in goals scored with 56. He finished second in the NHL in total points with 110 (he had 54 assists) to the Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin who led the league with 113 total points. (35 goals and 78 assists).
For the first time in NHL history, all three finalists for the Hart are Russians. Ovechkin is nominated for this award along side his fellow countrymen Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings.
Who do YOU think should win the Heart this season? Feel free to leave a comment!