Best Defensive Forward? - Talk-Sports.net
Sports by Randy Charles Morin.
Subscribe via email

Copyright 2005-10 Randy Charles Morin
Talk-Sports.net Home Blog Home
<< Previous Main Next >>
Wed, 05 Oct 2011 17:02:24 GMT
Best Defensive Forward?

The NHL award that I have the biggest problem with is the Frank J Selke trophy. This trophy is awarded to the best defensive forward.

What would qualify you as a great defensive forward? I would suspect that's for players who play great defensively, like penalty killers or players that are used to mark the better scorers on the other team. Add solid play in your own zone, which would result in your team not being scored on much while your line is on the ice. Scrambling defensive zone faceoffs would be another asset I could see in this player.

Some criteria I wouldn't ascribe to a Selke candidate is goals, assists, points and making the all-star game, except in the extreme rare case where a forwards make the all-star team based on his defensive work. Rare.

Now, let's examine Pat Datsyuk. This guy has won the Frank J Selke award three times. He doesn't play on Detroit's short handed lines. In the playoffs last year, Zetterberg, not Datsyuk was used to mark the other team's top center (Thornton). Is Pat Datsyuk good on faceoffs? He's good, but hardly exceptional. The only thing he has going for him is that he leads the league in takeaways.

How does a player who doesn't play short-handed, isn't a defensive marker win the Frank J Selke three times? Well, he does score a lot of goals off those turnovers. And he does get a lot of assists off those turnovers. The problem is those people that vote, don't vote for the best defensive forward. They vote for the best defensive forward in the NHL scoring leaders. The last truly defensive player to win the Frank J Selke was Kris Draper, 7 years ago. I dare the voters next year to vote for a real defensive player, like Jay McClement.

Privacy Policy Terms of Service