From the Royal Oak Tribune…
Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the three finalists for the 2009-10 Frank Selke Trophy, awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Datsyuk is pretty much on par or better than Kesler and Staal in everything except maybe minutes played. Here’s his case:
A master at getting and keeping the puck, Datsyuk led the NHL in takeaways for the third time in the past four seasons with a career-high 132, nearly 60% more than second-place Ryan Kesler of Vancouver (83). Datsyuk ranked second on the Red Wings in plus-minus with a +17 rating and was the club’s top face-off man, posting a 55% winning percentage (590 of 1,070). Datsyuk could become the first player to win the Selke Trophy for three consecutive seasons since Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens won it the first four seasons it was presented, from 1978 through 1981.
Datsyuk could also become the first player to win the Selke for three consecutive seasons and not ruin his reputation by becoming a mediocre at best General Manager.
Datsyuk’s career best takeaways with a +17 rating on a team that had struggled throughout most of the year should really be the telling tale. He had 49 more takeaways than Kesler and played in less games (Kesler played in all 82 this year).
This should be a lock….should be.