The Selke trophy is awarded annually to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game”. When you hear the definition of the Selke award, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron instantly comes to mind.
For whatever reason over the past several years, Bergeron has been overlooked by national media when it comes down to picking the three finalists for this special award, but finally this year Bergeron has gotten the recognition he deserves and has been named a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy.
Joining Bergeron as finalist are David Backes of the St. Louis Blues and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings. Datsyuk has won three of the last four Selke trophies. Like Bergeron, this is Backes first nomination.
“It’s obviously a huge honor” said Bergeron. “I’m flattered by it, to be named with two great players like [David] Backes and [Pavel] Datsyuk is I guess I’m very happy with it, but still I think it goes for all my teammates and I really believe in that.”
Guys like Bergeron don’t come around too often. Bergeron is a guy who is great in both ends of the ice, and can play both sides on special teams. One of Bergeron’s biggest assets is his heart and leadership which was very evident in yesterdays win over the Capitals in Game 6. Bergeron suited up despite a upper-body-injury so severe that Bergeron was only able to take one faceoff, a part of the game that Bergeron excels in.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien had nothing but praise for one of his best forwards.
“Well I think not only is it fitting, but it’s very deserving. There’s times where [a] coach will always support his player and say the right things, and there’s other times where you have to be honest and say, well, what’s the competition like and assess it in the best way possible. In my mind, there’s no doubt that Patrice deserves this” said Julien. “The way he’s played this year, the things he’s done to be nominated, how good he’s been defensively. He’s got two young players on each side of him, he’s played against top players all year long and he’s the best plus player probably of that group. Faceoff wise, he’s been utilized in every situation. Offensively, defensively, key situations – he’s done everything to deserve that. To be honest with you, I’d be very disappointed if he didn’t win that. That’s how I feel.”
The NHL Awards show is set for June 20 in famous Las Vegas.