The NHL Players Association apparently agrees with the Pro Hockey Writer's Association as to who the best three players in the league were this year. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers are the three finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the "most outstanding player as voted by the membership of the NHLPA.
The likelihood of this award, like the Hart, going to anyone other than Sidney Crosby appears quite slim.
Crosby led the league in scoring with 68 assists and 104 points, which included 30 multi-point games over a healthy 80-game season. That helped make Pittsburgh's relative lack of depth essentially a non-issue as they claimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division by a 13-point margin. He proved once again this season why he is the league's biggest star.
Getzlaf, while being way out on the West Coast and playing for a team that doesn't often get national headlines, put together a remarkable season. He has been one of the game's most effective players for years, but what he and Corey Perry did this season ith the Ducks will go down as one of his best regular-season accomplishments. The Ducks captain posted a career-high 31 goals to go along with 87 points to finish second in the league scoring race.
Giroux was the best playee in the second half of the season, there's no doubt about that. After a slow start, he carried the Flyers and ended up finishing third in the league with 86 points. Giroux matched his career-high with 28 goals and pulled Philadelphia out of a slow start that cost head coach Peter Laviolette his job and helped get the team to the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
Though it seems like Crosby winning both MVP honors is a cinch, this is a pretty solid field of finalists. You could make a case that Semyon Varlamov could have been in the discussion with how he willed the Avalanche to the league's third-best record, but beyond that there really aren't too many huge gripes with the same trio being considered the league's best.
The Lindsay Award, along with all other NHL awards, will be doled out on June 24 in Las Vegas.