Pavel Datsyuk a Selke Trophy finalist
Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks have been named finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, presented annually "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."
Cross Checks: Our Selke Winners
The finalists have been named for the Selke Trophy, but Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun have their own ideas about who should win the award. Blog
Datsyuk has won the trophy the past three seasons and could become the first four-time winner since Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens did it (1978 through 1981).
Datsyuk ranked 11th in the NHL with 71 takeaways despite playing only 56 games this season due to injuries.
Kessler, a Selke finalist for the third consecutive year, helped Vancouver post the lowest team goals-against average (2.20) in the league this season. He had a plus/minus of plus-24 and was credited with 65 takeaways and 124 hits.
Toews, a first-time Selke finalist, recorded 95 takeaways, second only to Joe Thornton's 114, and posted a plus/minus of plus-25. He won a league-leading 937 of the 1,653 faceoffs he took this season and was credited with 74 hits and 28 blocked shots.
The winner will be announced June 22 at the NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas.