2008 NHL Frank J. Selke
Datsyuk, Zetterberg & Madden are Selke Trophy Nominees
Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg plus New Jersey’s John Madden (not the football guru) are the nominees for this years Frank J. Selke award for the NHL’s best two-way player. This trophy is given to the player who exemplifies superb defensive skill by an offensive player with sneaky pocket picking, face-off wins, and shut down defense combined with takeaways. It is amazing that the two Red Wing nominees both managed over 90 points each and are recognized for their defensive side. The Frank J. Selke is a low-key award that does not get eye-popping attention, but this style of player is needed to win cups.
Datsyuk’s incredible smooth-flowing skating style allows him to be anywhere on the ice at anytime with ease. Like his teammate, he is only known for his offensive 31 goals, 66 assists, 97 points, 10 power plays goals and the highlight reel plays finishes.
The NHL world does not let the everyday fan know about his league's best +41 plus/minus but more importantly, his 144 takeaways that is almost 3 times better than Zetterberg’s tally of 55. He provides great penalty kill presence, scoring a short handed goal this season, helping Detroit to the 8th best PK in the league. His efforts have made the Wings goaltenders rarely face odd man rushes or breakaways.
Zetterberg, like Datsyuk, broke out this year with a career high in goals (43), assists (49), points (92), +30 plus/minus, and face off winning percentage of nearly 55%. Not known for his defensive prowl, he did have 55 takeaways while playing as a key player on the penalty kill unit. All these numbers, plus a short-handed goal, gave Zetterberg his first, and not last, Selke award nominee.
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Madden has won this award once in 2001 and finished 2nd twice in years later. He is known as the #1 shutdown man for the Devils, left with the tough task of shadowing top players. Also his PK skills are 2nd to none, scoring 3 shorthanded goals this season, seeing close to 4 minutes of short handed ice time a game. Oddly enough, he also had his best offensive production in his career. A great face-off winner (53%), and his 76 take aways finish him in 5th in that department.
This is a tough one to pick. I know for sure that Zetterberg will not win and will finish 3rd in his Selke debut. My mind says Datsyuk, but Madden will win his 2nd award for best defensive forward.
Hart Trophy | Adams Trophy | Byng Trophy | Calder Trophy | Norris Trophy | Selke Trophy | Vezina Trophy
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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