Jaromir Jagr and Joe Thornton are chasing each other again.
The New York Rangers' Jagr and San Jose's Thornton, who went back and forth in the NHL scoring race, are two of the three finalists announced yesterday for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is the third nominee.
Thornton edged Jagr for the scoring title by 2 points -- 125-123. Jagr led for most of the season as he carried New York to its first postseason appearance since 1997.
But Jagr, who dislocated his left shoulder in a Game 1 playoff loss to New Jersey, had just one assist as New York was swept by the Devils. Moments after Jagr's nomination was announced, the Rangers said the right wing would have shoulder surgery.
Jagr will have surgery on Monday and is expected to fully recover in time for the New York Rangers' training camp in September.
Thornton, acquired from the Bruins Nov. 30, led the Sharks into the playoffs with 29 goals and 96 assists. He scored 20 goals and set up 72 others in 58 games with the Sharks.
Kiprusoff won 42 games and had a goals-against average of 2.07.
Other nominees include: Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh, Alexander Ovechkin of Washington, and Dion Phaneuf of Calgary for the Calder Trophy as top rookie; Carolina's Peter Laviolette, Tom Renney of the Rangers, and Lindy Ruff of Buffalo for the Adams Award as outstanding coach; Martin Brodeur of New Jersey, Kiprusoff, and the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist for the Vezina Trophy as top goalie; Rod Brind'Amour of Carolina, Mike Fisher of Ottawa, and Jere Lehtinen of Dallas for the Selke Trophy as top defensive forward; Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit, Scott Niedermayer of Anaheim, and Sergei Zubov of Dallas for the Norris Trophy as top defenseman; Pavel Datsyuk of Detroit, Patrick Marleau of San Jose, and Brad Richards of Tampa Bay for the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship.
Ovechkin, Thornton and Jagr, who won the MVP award in 1999, also are in the running for the Lester B. Pearson Award, given by fellow players to the most outstanding performer.
The question is: Will those changes involve him?
Yzerman said he wants to make a decision relatively quickly -- maybe as early as next week -- on whether to retire.
''I'm going to do the best thing for me and the best thing for the team," the 40-year-old Detroit hockey legend said.
Yzerman, who managed 14 goals in 61 games this season, said he plans to meet with the team's management within a few days and will make up his mind shortly after.
The future Hall of Famer said he and his wife have been discussing the issue and have been going back and forth on whether he should come back to Hockeytown for one more shot at a fourth Stanley Cup.