(courtesy of Harry How/Getty Images)
Last night, Evgeni Malkin was the toast of Sin City as he captured the NHL’s top honors in the most important awards an individual player can win. Malkin first appeared on stage out of the shadows holding the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the leagues top score, a trophy he had wrapped up prior to the start of the playoffs. Although he was the clear cut winner back in April the NHL waited until the award ceremony to present him with the actual trophy. Malkin became the first Russian to win the award more than once surpassing Alexander Ovechkin who originally won it in 2007-08.
From there, Malkin went on to beat Tampa’s Steven Stamkos and New York’s Henrik Lunqvist for the Ted Lindsay Award, awarded to the most outstanding player in the regular season as judged by the members of the NHL Players Association as well as the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP). Malkin delivered two separate speeches despite joking about how he was set to reuse his first. Malkin became just the third Russian to ever win either trophy following in the footsteps of Sergei Fedorov and Ovechkin.
Having captured gold with Russia at the World Championships along with MVP honors, the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup there is nothing left for Malkin to win as he already owns every major award for a forward except for Olympic gold. He will need little motivation as he will lead his country on home ice in 2014 as they search for their first gold under the Russian flag.