TORONTO – The MVP award voted on by NHL players is getting a makeover to honour a man who fought for their rights more than half a century ago.
The NHL Players’ Association has decided to rename the Lester B. Pearson Award in honour of former Detroit Red Wings great Ted Lindsay. An official announcement will be made at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Thursday morning.
Lindsay was one of the primary driving forces behind the creation of the NHLPA in the 1950s. He is also a member of the Hall who won four Stanley Cups and led the league in scoring during the 1949-50 season.
The NHLPA’s MVP award was first handed out during the 1970-71 season and named in honour of Lester Pearson, the former Canadian prime minister. Until now, it was one of the few major NHL awards that didn’t carry the name of someone attached to the league.
Members of the players’ union vote for their MVP at the end of each regular season and occasionally select a different player than the one who wins the Hart Trophy, which is selected by hockey writers. The last time that happened was 2005-06, when Jaromir Jagr won the Pearson and Joe Thornton received the Hart.
The three finalists for this year’s Lindsay award are expected to be released next week. The winner will be announced during the NHL’s awards show in Las Vegas on June 23.