By Oscar Garcia/Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry said he came to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas just to have fun with nearly three dozen family and friends, not expecting much despite his 50-goal season.
Certainly not leapfrogging Daniel Sedin and Martin St. Louis for the league’s MVP title.
“You never know what to expect, so just come in and have fun with it, I guess,’’ Perry said.
“When you hear your name, it kind of shocked me. Like I said, you don’t really believe it,’’ he said. “But I gave my dad, gave my mom a big hug and went up on stage.’’
Perry’s surprise Hart Trophy win grabbed the spotlight from the scoring champion Sedin, the Vancouver Canucks forward who was trying to complete an unprecedented MVP double dip after his twin brother and teammate Henrik took the honors last year.
Perry wasn’t planning on standing in the way.
“All of a sudden, you hear your name and you’re like, ‘Oh,’’’ Perry said.
Perry’s win capped the two-hour NHL Awards ceremony and a season in which he surged to the goal title, scoring 19 times in his final 16 games. During that stretch, Anaheim moved from 11th to fourth in the Western Conference.
“You always want to build on the year before and I think it’s a steady increase,’’ Perry said. “Hopefully it keeps increasing.’’
Perry got 67 of 126 first place votes from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Sedin had 51 first-place votes.
Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, who won the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly and excellent play, was the third MVP finalist _ well behind Perry and Sedin with only one first-place vote.
The Sedins didn’t pull off the back-to-back MVP wins, but they do own the past two scoring titles. Daniel won it this season with 104 points – including 41 goals. He was second in the league with a plus-30 rating.
The scoring title earned him the Art Ross Trophy, and the players voted him most valuable for the Ted Lindsay Award.
Sedin said he wasn’t disappointed that he failed to follow his brother with the Hart Trophy.
“Corey had an amazing season, a great finish and he carried the team a lot of times,’’ Sedin said. “I expected him to win it and he did, so for me that’s no disappointment. I was nominated, so that’s good enough.’’