As members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, we are asked to vote on the NHL’s Most Valuable Player, top defenseman, top rookie, top defensive forward, most gentlemanly player and its All-Star teams at each position.
Here are my picks for the Hart Trophy, which goes to “the player judged to be the most valuable to his team:”
1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins – The game’s best player has found a way to keep getting better. He ran away with the scoring title with 104 points, no small feat against teams whose sole focus is keeping him off the scoreboard, Crosby is a tireless worker in all three zones and is a threat to either score or set up a goal every time he steps on the ice.
2, Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks – Could the Ducks have gotten to the playoffs without him? Probably. But the 28-year-old center was a beast this season, recording a career high 31 goals [26 of them 5-on-5] and 87 points for the top team in the Western Conference.
3, Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers – Through the first 15 games of the regular season Giroux had no goals and was a minus-15 for a team that looked destined to finish in the bottom five of the NHL. He finished the season with 28 goals, 86 points, a plus-7 and literally carried the Flyers into the playoffs.
4, Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks – The do-it-all center recorded career highs in goals  and points  and coach Todd McLellan counted on him to take key faceoffs late in games. He finished with a plus-23 for one of the strongest teams in the West.
5, Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars – When he left Boston in a trade that sent Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson to the Bruins, many wondered if Boston GM Peter Chiarelli knew something no one else did about Seguin. Turns out Seguin only needed the opportunity to play top-line minutes. The 22-year-old center led the Stars to the playoffs with a career-high 37 goals and 84 points.
Which players are in your Top 5?