Patrick Kane, Sidney Crosby and Jamie Benn named Hart Trophy finalists

Associated Press

Penguins forward Sidney Crosby, ‘Hawks forward Patrick Kane and Stars forward Jamie Benn have been selected as the finalists for the Hart Trophy. The award is given to the player who is most valuable to his team’s success.

Crosby got off to an incredibly slow start this season, but he managed to turn things around in a big way. The 28-year-old finished the year with 36 goals and 85 points in 80 games. Crosby won the Hart Trophy in 2007 and 2013. If he wins it this year, he’ll become the second player in franchise history to win the award three times (Mario Lemieux was the first).

Benn, who led the league in scoring last season, had another huge year in 2015-16. The Stars captain racked up 41 goals and 89 points in 82 games. Both totals are career-highs for Benn.

Kane led all players in scoring this past season with 106 points in 82 games. The 27-year-old was the only NHLer to surpass the 100-point plateau in 2015-16. Kane also recorded an impressive 26-game point streak during the season.

Some expected the league’s best team (in the regular season), the Washington Capitals, to have at least one Hart Trophy nominee, but neither Alex Ovechkin or Braden Holtby made the cut.