SUN Hockey Pool

Iginla nominated by peers

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

The accolades continue to roll in for Jarome Iginla.

The Calgary Flames captain was named a finalist yesterday for the Lester B. Pearson Award.

Iginla is up against the same two players he's nominated with for the Hart Trophy -- Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin.

Iginla couldn't be reached for comment yesterday, being out of country on a family vacation.

It's the second time Iginla has been a finalist for the Lester B. Pearson Award, which is voted on by the players and doled out by the NHLPA.

He won the honour after the 2001-02 season, when he led the league with 52 goals and 96 points. That year, he finished second in Hart Trophy balloting, which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

This season, Iginla netted 50 goals and a career-best 98 points.

Ovechkin, who is expected to win the Hart Trophy, was a finalist for the Pearson as a rookie two years ago.

He's already destined for a big haul at the NHL awards next month, having already won the Art Ross Trophy for the league's scoring leader with 112 points and the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy as the top goal-scorer with 65.

Malkin was second in scoring 106 points, but led the league with 65 points after Jan. 1 and was key in keeping the Pittsburgh Penguins afloat while Sidney Crosby missed most of the second half with a high ankle sprain.

The Pearson winner gets $20,000 to donate to the minor hockey programs of his choice while the two finalists get to give away $10,000 each.

The first Pearson winner in 1971 was Phil Esposito, while the Hart that year went to his Boston teammate Bobby Orr. Orr won the Hart again in 1972, but the Pearson went to Jean Ratelle.

Since the Pearson started in 1971, the players and writers have chosen different winners 13 times, most recently in 2006 when Joe Thornton won the Hart Trophy and Jaromir Jagr took the Pearson.


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