2010 – 11 Capitals Awards Ceremony: Frank J. Selke Trophy

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 in three consecutive years.

But where does that leave us, the Washington Capitals fans? Cold and alone? No! While we await nominations for the 2010-11 season, Rock the Red has decided to nominate members of the Caps’ 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 late June to find out who wins! The incumbent Caps’ Selke Trophy winner is Dave Steckel.

Your nominees are…

In alphabetical order:

Nicklas Backstrom

In 86 regular season and playoff games, he posted a +24 rating (20th in NHL), led the team in takeaways (79) and was first among forwards on the team in blocked shots (73).  His 73 takeaways in the regular season ranked 6th in the NHL.  Of Caps playing in at least half of the regular season games, he had the third lowest on-ice team goals against per 60 minutes average (1.80) in 5 on 5 situations, and had the third best goals for per 60 minutes average (2.99).  Backstrom also took nearly twice as many faceoffs as the next closest Cap (1,478 combined) and won 51.8%, including 54.5% of his shorthanded facoffs. 

Boyd Gordon

During the regular season, he was on-ice for the 2nd lowest total number of goals against (23). In 69 combined games, he was 2nd among Caps forwards in Shorthanded Ice Time (SHTOI: 162:03, 2:21 SHTOI/G) and 3rd in blocked shots (54).  He also won 59.4% of his 831 faceoffs, including 119 of 198 faceoffs while shorthanded (60.1%).  He won a whopping 68.8% of his faceoffs in the playoffs.  Gordon’s 58% regular season win % ranked 4th in the NHL; NHL.com doesn’t show Gordon on the leaders list even though he and last-place Derek Stepan both took exactly 719 faceoffs. 

Brooks Laich

Played all 91 games, posting a +14 rating. He led all Caps players in SH TOI (221:58) and was second overall to Scott Hannan in SH TOI/G (Laich 2:26, Hannan 2:38).  Sixth on the team in hits (122) and second among forwards in blocked shots (64), 10 of which led the team’s forwards in the playoffs. Of Caps playing in at least half of the regular season, he had a team low on-ice team goals against per 60 minutes (1.69) in 5 on 5 situations.  Led the team in shorthanded points (3). Laich also won 52.1% of his 634 faceoffs, including 55.5% in the playoffs. 

Honorable Mention: Alexander Semin (Regular season:  +22 rating ranked 23rd in NHL, 62 takeaways ranked 26th in NHL)

And your winner, pretending that the Washington Capitals are the only team in the NHL, and we are the sole voters in the PHWA: (drum roll, please) Brooks Laich!

Former Washington Capitals’ Frank J. Selke Trophy winners: Doug Jarvis, 1983-84