Sunday, February 14, 2016

Giroux named MVP finalist

Flyers center Claude Giroux has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's MVP.

Giroux named MVP finalist

Flyers captain Claude Giroux. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Flyers captain Claude Giroux. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Flyers center Claude Giroux has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's MVP.

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, who is the heavy favorite, and Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf were also named finalists.

The winner will be announced June 24 in Las Vegas.

"To be nominated is a great honor," Giroux said. "I could not have done it without my teammates and coaching staff. To be able to bounce back after the slow start we had this year, it was obviously a very fun time."

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Giroux finished third in the NHL scoring race with 86 points, behind Crosby (104) and Getzlaf (87). He is the fifth Flyer ever named a Hart finalist,

Bobby Clarke and Eric Lindros are the only Flyers to have won the award. Clarke won it in 1973, 1975 and 1976; Lindros was the 1995 winner.

Clarke was second in 1977, and Lindros was second in 1996. Pelle Lindbergh was third in 1985, and Bernie Parent finished second in 1974, the year the Flyers won their first Stanley Cup.

Giroux, 26, who was fourth in the Hart Trophy voting after collecting 93 points in 2011-12, matched a career high with 28 goals, despite not scoring his first goal until the 16th game. It is his first time as a Hart finalist.

Coach Craig Berube said the nomination was well-deserved, pointing out that Giroux keyed the Flyers'  turnaround from a 1-7 start.

"The team was in a tough situation early on, and he led out team out of that hole and went on to have a great year," Berube said.

The Flyers' captain was slowed by a hand injury early in the season, but he had 79 points in his final 67 games, an average of 1.18 points per contest.

In the playoffs against the Rangers, Giroux had six points, tying New York's Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards for the most series points.

Here is how my ballot looked: 1. Crosby; 2. Getzlaf; 3. Giroux.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.


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