This years Frank J. Selke Trophy finalists have been announced. The Selke is awarded to the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game. It has been awarded 34 times, but only to 22 different players. This years finalists are no strangers to being nominated for this award. They are Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins), Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings), and Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks). Bergern has won this award one time before (2012), Datsyuk has won this honor three times (2008, 2009,2010), and Toews has been nominated once before. The Selke winner is selected by Professional Hockey Writers Association.
All three of this years finalists are still playing for the Staney Cup. That fact alone proves that a defensive forward is a big part of a Stanley Cup team.
Something to think about
Bergeron and Steve Kasper (1982) are the only Bruins to win the Selke. Bergeron also would become the sixth player to win it in consecutive years (NHL.com). This year Bergeron posted a team-best plus-24 rating, which was sixth-best in the League.
Datsyuk, 34, was a point-per-game scorer while managing a plus-21 rating, and he accomplished it averaging 20:10 in ice time per game (NHL.com). If Datsyuk wins this Selke this year it would be his fourth Trophy. A victory this year would tie him with Bob Gainey of the Canadiens who won the first four Selke’s (1978-1981)
Toews was third among the team’s forwards in shorthanded ice time at 1:25 per game and was second among the team’s forwards in average ice time at 19:20 per game. He tied Datsyuk for the League lead with 56 takeaways, and not only was his plus-28 third in the League, his plus-21 on the road was a League high. NHL.com)
I think this year award will most likely go to Datsyuk. The 36-year-old has been one of the best defensive forwards to ever play the game. He is a +229 for his career, and has 767 points in 779 games. Who do you think will win?