Two phenomenal years and one remarkable second half resurgence have resulted in the three finalists for the 2016 Hart Trophy.
The Hart Trophy is the NHL's MVP award, given "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team" as voted on by members of the Pro Hockey Writers' Association. The finalists for the 2015-16 season are Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This is Crosby's chance to win his third Hart Trophy, having taken it home in 2007 and 2014. Only eight players in NHL history have won the Hart three times. Crosby began the season with one of his lowest outputs in his career, but led the league with 58 points after January 1 to finish third in the league with 85 points in 80 games. Crosby was the only player in the league with more than one 10-game points streak.
Jamie Benn is the first Dallas Star to earn a Hart Trophy nomination. A year removed from winning the Art Ross Trophy, Benn finished second in the NHL with 89 points and became the first Star to eclipse 40 goals since Mike Modano in 1993-94. Benn's 17 power play points were second in the league.
Patrick Kane paced the NHL with 106 points, becoming the first American NHLer to win the Art Ross Trophy. At one point he had a 26-game points streak and finished second in the league behind Alex Ovechkin with 46 goals. He's angling for the Blackhawks' first Hart Trophy win since Stan Mikita in 1968.
The Hart Trophy winner will be announced on June 22 during the NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas.