Kovalchuk, Quick, Lundqvist Among Early Conn Smythe Candidates

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Kovalchuk, Quick, Lundqvist Among Early Conn Smythe Candidates
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas won the Conn Smythe in 2011

The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded annually to the "player judged most valuable to his team during the Stanley Cup playoffs."

Named for former Toronto Maple Leafs owner/general manger/coach and Hall of Famer Conn Smythe, the award is unique in that it is awarded based on performance throughout the entire playoffs and not just an individual series, as in the other major sports.

As the Stanley Cup playoffs are pared down to the final four teams, some early front-runners for the coveted award are emerging.

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