Kucherov wins MVP trophies at NHL awards

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov holds the Hart Memorial Trophy awarded to the MVP of the league at the 2019 NHL awards in Las Vegas (AFP Photo/BRUCE BENNETT)
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov holds the Hart Memorial Trophy awarded to the MVP of the league at the 2019 NHL awards in Las Vegas (AFP Photo/BRUCE BENNETT)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Nikita Kucherov won the Hart Trophy as the MVP of the NHL, but it was bittersweet recognition for the Russian forward after his Tampa Bay Lightning suffered a shocking first-round playoff exit.

Kucherov's Russian teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Vezina Trophy for being the top goalie as the Lightning, who earned 128 standings points in the regular season, were left licking their wounds when the Columbus Blue Jackets eliminated them in a four-game playoff sweep in April.

Kucherov, who finished with 128 points on the season, also picked up the Ted Lindsay Award as the top player voted on by his peers and the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer at the ceremony on Wednesday in Las Vegas.

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"It's a huge night for me and my family," Kucherov said. "Thanks to my teammates, my coaches, all the trainers, everybody involved in the team. Thanks to them for helping me get here. Without them, without all the work we've done together, I wouldn't be here."

Kucherov, who turned 26 on Monday, beat out two-time MVP Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh and 2017 Hart winner Connor McDavid for the Hart Trophy.

Kucherov received 164 of 171 first-place votes in a runaway victory over runner-up Crosby.

Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson won the Calder Trophy as the league's rookie of the year after a magical season in which he scored 28 goals and 66 points.

The 20-year-old Pettersson beat out goalie Jordan Binnington, who led the St. Louis Blues to their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history.

Calgary's Mark Giordano won the Norris Trophy as the top defenceman, and Binnington's teammate Ryan O'Reilly added his first Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward.

Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders won his second Jack Adams Award as the best coach.

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