The Canadian Press named Sidney Crosby its male athlete of the year, making it the third time the 23-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins center managed to earn that honor. Crosby joins Wayne Gretzky and Maurice Richard as the only hockey players to earn the Lionel Conacher Award at least three times.
Major League Baseball’s National League MVP Joey Votto finished second in the voting. Crosby earned 162 votes (38 first place selections) while Votto received 126 votes (and 22 first place selections).
Of course, many will wonder if Crosby was even the best Canadian hockey player of the year. Jonathan Toews had quite the 2010 too. He also earned a gold medal with Team Canada while being named one of the tournament’s best players, then won a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophy to boot.
So what kind of full year – counting games from the 2009-10 and 09-10 seasons that fell under the 2010 calendar year, the Olympics and the playoffs – did Crosby actually have? I put together his stats from game logs and other stats at Hockey Reference.com to come up with this rundown. I’ll thrown in some individual accomplishments to boot.
- Of course, he scored the overtime game-winner that earned Team Canada the gold medal, the main reason he earned this award.
- He shared the Maurice Richard Trophy with Steven Stamkos for total goals in the 09-10 season.
- Obviously, there’s that 25-game point scoring streak that just concluded with 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points.
- So far in 10-11, he scored 32 goals and 33 assists for 65 points in 39 games.
- In the 41 games he played from the 09-10 season this year, he scored 28 goals and 33 assists for 61 points. So in 82 regular season games for 2010 between the two chunks of seasons, he scored a whopping 60 goals and 65 assists for 125 points. Wow.
- In 13 playoff games, he scored six goals and 13 assists for 19 points.
- Many say he didn’t do much aside from scoring that OT GWG in the Olympics, but he still scored four goals and three assists for seven points in seven games. Then again, compared to his other stats, he was a downright slacker.
Looking at that list of numbers and accomplishments, it’s hard to deny that Crosby had the best year of any Canadian athlete. Here is a little more about his award winning turn via TSN.
The golden goal had such an impact that it has earned Crosby the Lionel Conacher Award as The Canadian Press male athlete of the year for the third time in four years.
He previously topped the annual poll of the country’s newsrooms after significant achievements that were months in the making — winning the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 2007 and leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 2009. His third award comes in recognition of a magical moment where he seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“That’s the big thing that sticks out to me,” Crosby said in an interview. “Obviously, that goal and the Olympic Games themselves. That was a pretty unique experience. To have it in Canada and to play hockey and represent your country in a sport that everybody is so passionate about, it was pretty special.”
Congratulations to Crosby on an outstanding year. The question is: how will he top it in 2011?