The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association following the regular season. The current holder of the trophy is Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, who has won twice in back-to-back years. The nominees for the 2009-10 season are Datsyuk, the Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But where does that leave us, the Washington Capitals fans? Cold and alone? No! Rock the Red has decided to nominate members of the Washington Capitals’ roster for each of the NHL’s awards, and pick a winner accordingly. The best part is you don’t even have to wait until Wednesday, June 23rd to find out who wins!
In alphabetical order:
Nicklas Backstrom: Anyone that witnessed Backstrom’s stellar penalty killing during the Marh 4th game against the Tampa Bay Lightning should instantly recognize his abilities on both sides of the puck. In addition to other feats of defensive prowess, including a diving save on a puck destined for an open net during the playoffs, Backstrom lead all Capitals’ forwards with 62 blocked shots.
Brooks Laich: Brooks Laich strung together a successful 2009-10 season, and seemed to come into his own as a player. He was second on the Caps roster for forwards in shorthanded time on ice (164:09), while tallying a goal and an assist while playing man-down hockey. Laich was 3rd among forwards in hits (93) and blocked shots (39).
Dave Steckel: Strong on the penalty kill and in 5-on-5 situations. Stecks often uses his long ape-like reach to break up a pass or block or deflect a shot. Doesn’t panic in the defensive zone, instead remains calm and sticks to the basics of smart, defensive hockey.
And your winner, pretending that the Washington Capitals are the only team in the NHL, and we are the sole voters in the PHWA: (drumroll, please) Dave Steckel!
Former Washington Capitals’ Frank J. Selke Trophy winners: Doug Jarvis, 1983–84