Patrice Bergeron joins elite company with third Selke win
LAS VEGAS — Patrice Bergeron may want to purchase an additional case to display the hardware he’s received in his career.
On Wednesday, the veteran centerman captured his third Selke Award in the last four years and his second in as many seasons, edging out Jonathan Toews and Anze Kopitar.
Even with all his personal success — coupled with the Black and Gold’s struggles in 2014-15 — Bergeron was a little surprised to hear his name called to the stage for the second straight year.
“It’s always a surprise [to hear your name called] especially when you’re up against Jonathan and Anze. They’re amazing players who I respect a lot,” Bergeron said about being recognized by the PHWA as the best two-way forward in the National Hockey League. “It’s definitely a huge honor [to win the Selke Award].”
Bergeron joins Pavel Datsyuk, Guy Carbonneau and Jere Lehtninen as three-time winners of the Selke Award. Bob Gainey, with four, has the most.
The Bruins assistant captain is one away from tying Gainey for the most Selke’s. At this rate, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Bergeron surpassed the former Habs great before his career comes to a close- which won’t happen for the foreseeable future.
“It’s crazy just thinking about that,” Bergeron said about being one Selke Trophy away from tying Gainey.
There’s always room for Bergeron to improve and tinker his game. He may not be the most prolific scorer in the league, but he provides a good offensive touch for his team.
Bergeron refused to take sole credit for his status as a marquee two-way player, however, crediting his teammates and the Bruins system for his success.
“If you get beat, there’s always someone behind to back you up,” he said. “It gives you the freedom sometimes to take a chance and know that the other layer is there.”
The biggest thing Bergeron takes pride in: his defensive ability. And that is why he won’t be making wholesale changes to his game anytime soon.
“In winning the awards, I still wouldn’t change the way that I play my game,” Bergeron said. “I would keep doing the same things that have helped me throughout my career and continue from there.”
“It’s been a couple of years now that I’ve been surrounded by Patrice and Anze [as finalists]. Either way, whether I win or not, I’m happy for being honored for that,” Toews said. “Patrice is huge in what he’s meant to his team. He’s won a Stanley Cup and he knows what it takes to win. So I think being surrounded by them definitely adds to the prestige.”
With three Selke Awards, two gold medals, and a Stanley Cup already under his belt, Bergeron’s resume is already impressive. At just 29 years old, he still has room for some more accolades down the road.
By the time his career is over, Bergeron’s number should be hung in the banners at TD Garden.
Simply put: Bergeron is a joy to watch on the ice and is one classy guy off the ice. That is a hard combination to beat.