NEW YORK — Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux are finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy.
The NHL announced the finalists Thursday for the trophy, which essentially serves as the league’s MVP award. The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submits ballots.
Crosby scored 36 goals and led the league in assists (68) and points (104), guiding the Penguins to their second consecutive division title.
Getzlaf scored a career-high 31 goals and ranked second in the League with 87 points, leading the Ducks to the top record in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history.
Giroux matched a career high with 28 goals and finished third in the NHL scoring race (86 points), helping the Flyers rally from a 3-9-0 start.
The winner will be announced June 24.
Canucks fire coach Tortorella
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Vancouver Canucks have fired John Tortorella one year into the fiery coach’s long-term deal.
Tortorella, who signed a five-year contract last summer after being dismissed by the New York Rangers, failed to reach the playoffs behind the Vancouver bench. Assistant coach Mike Sullivan was also fired on Thursday.
The Canucks finished 25th in the 30-team NHL. It was Vancouver’s worst finish in 14 years and came just three seasons after former coach Alain Vigneault led the Canucks to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final. Vigneault replaced Tortorella as coach of the Rangers and advanced to the second round of the playoffs on Wednesday with a Game 7 win over Philadelphia.
Islanders acquire rights to G Halak
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The New York Islanders acquired the negotiating rights to veteran goalie Jaroslav Halak from the Washington Capitals on Thursday for a fourth-round pick in a trade between teams that failed to make the playoffs.
New York is sending the draft pick it acquired from Chicago in February in the deal that sent Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin to the Blackhawks.
If a new contract isn’t reached with Halak before July 1, the 28-year-old goalie can become an unrestricted free agent.
Halak split this season between St. Louis and Washington and went a combined 29-13-13 in 52 games. He was traded by St. Louis to Buffalo on March 1 and sent to Washington four days later before playing a game with Buffalo.