By Sarah Kwak
CHICAGO — The NHL announced just some of their award winners Friday afternoon, sort of second-tier accolades that included GM of the Year (Pittsburgh’s Ray Shero), coach of the year (Ottawa’s Paul MacLean) and the Lady Byng Trophy (Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis), given to the most gentlemanly player in the league. It seems that these are, perhaps, less important than the Hart, the Norris or the Vezina Trophy.
Now consider the Selke Trophy, which is supposed to be awarded to the best defensive forward in the game. But as it’s morphed into an award that acknowledges the best two-way forward, the Selke has become one of the most important awards in the NHL, one of the best indicators of the success of the recipient’s team.
Just look: this year’s winner is Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, now going after his second Stanley Cup in three years; and the 2013 runner-up? Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, going for his second Cup in two years. It may seem coincidental, but it’s not a fluke.