Theodore wins tiebreak for Hart Trophy

June 20, 2002 at 10:43 PM
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TORONTO, June 20 (UPI) -- It took a first for Jose Theodore of the Montreal Canadiens to become just the second goaltender in four decades to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.

Theodore won a unique tiebreaker with Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames Thursday night to join Dominik Hasek as the only players since 1962 to win the Hart and Vezina trophies in the same year.

Both Theodore and Iginla, who led the NHL in goals and points, received 434 points in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. But Theodore got the nod because he received three more first-place votes than Iginla.

Jacques Plante (1962), Al Rollins (1954), Charlie Rayner (1950) and Roy Worters (1929) are the only other goalies to win the Hart Trophy.

Amazingly, Theodore won another tiebreaker to capture the Vezina Trophy as top goaltender. Both he and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche received 105 points in a poll of NHL general managers, but Theodore received three more first-place votes.

Iginla became the second player in three years to win the NHL Players Association's Lester Pearson Award as outstanding player only to lose the Hart Trophy. Jaromir Jagr won the Pearson Award in 2000, when St. Louis Blues defenseman took the Hart.

Theodore was 30-24-10 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a league-leading .931 save percentage. He almost singlehandedly backstopped the Canadiens to their first playoff berth since 1998.

Ironically, while Roy failed to outpoll Theodore in voting for both the Vezina and Hart trophies, he outdistanced him for a spot as an NHL First Team All-Star.

It was a big night for Montreal as captain Saku Koivu received the Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication after a comeback from cancer.

"It's been an overwhelming year and in the beginning, when I heard the word cancer, I was scared," Koivu said. "I didn't know what to expect. For the first time in my life, hockey didn't play a role in my life. There were so many other things to think about and to go through. As I got better, I started to miss hockey again and I started to dream about it."

Nicklas Lidstrom became the eighth player to win consecutive Norris Trophies as the NHL's top defenseman, outdistancing Detroit Red Wings teammate Chris Chelios and Rob Blake of the Avalanche. Chelios was expected to win his third Norris after leading the league with a plus-40 rating, but Lidstrom added the hardware to the Conn Smythe Trophy he received last week as MVP of the postseason.

As expected, Dany Heatley of the Atlanta Thrashers won the Calder Trophy after leading all rookies in scoring with 26 goals and 41 assists.

New York Islanders captain Michael Peca won his second Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward and Bob Francis won the Adams Award as coach of the year after guiding the Phoenix Coyotes to an unexpected playoff berth.

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