The Lou Marsh Trophy is given out each year to Canada’s top athlete. Since it was first awarded in 1936, eight different NHL players have been honoured. Two of these, Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, have been selected the Lou Marsh winner on multiple occasions.
In 1957, Maurice “Rocket” Richard was the first hockey player to win the Lou Marsh. During the 1956-57 NHL season, Richard helped the Canadiens to their second, of what would be, five Stanley Cups in a row. This would mark the first year of the Rocket’s team captaincy in Montreal.
Bobby Orr won the award in 1970 after a history making NHL season for him in 1969-70. Bobby won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading point getter. He led the league with 120 points and, to this day, is the only defenseman to ever win the award. The hardware didn’t stop there for Orr that season. His Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, the Hart Memorial Trophy as NHL MVP, the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman and was named to the First Team All-Star Team.
In 1972, the Lou Marsh went to another Boston Bruin. Phil Esposito led the league in points with 133 to capture the Art Ross Trophy. He was named to the First Team All-Star squad after leading the Bruins to another Stanley Cup.
Bobby Clarke of the Philadelphia Flyers won the award in 1975. Bobby captained the Flyers to their second consecutive Stanley Cup victory in 1974-75. Clarke was sixth in league scoring with 116 points and tied with Bobby Orr for the most assists with 89. Bobby won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP and was selected to the First Team All-Star Team.
Two years later, in 1977, Guy Lafleur of the Montreal Canadiens won the Lou Marsh. The Canadiens won the Stanley Cup and were arguably the best team to ever play in the NHL. Lafleur won the Art Ross Trophy with 136 points, the Conn Smythe Trophy, the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award as the league’s MVP as voted by the NHL Players Association. Of course, Lafleur was named to the First Team All-Star Team.
Wayne Gretzky was the next NHLer to win the Lou Marsh. He won the first of his four in 1982. He would win again in 1983, 1985 and 1989. During that time, he set current NHL records for most points in a season (215) and most goals in a season (92). Gretzky won the Art Ross Trophy four times, the Hart Trophy four times and the Lester B. Pearson three times. He was the centre on the First Team All-Star squad in each season.
Mario Lemieux overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma to have one of the greatest seasons in NHL history in 1992-93. The Lou Marsh Trophy winner for 1993 won the Art Ross Trophy with 160 points despite only playing 60 games. He was a First Team All-Star and won the Hart Trophy, Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson and had the league’s top plus/minus.
The latest winner of the Lou Marsh won the award in 2007 then again in 2009. Sidney Crosby won the Hart, Art Ross and Lester B. Pearson in 2006-07 and took his team to the Stanley Cup in 2008-09. Certainly, after his performance at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Sid will be a candidate for the award again for 2010.