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Bergeron, Chara Up for NHL Awards

by Joe Gallagher / Boston Bruins – Two Bruins are finalists to win trophies at the 2012 NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 20, from the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Patrice Bergeron is one of the nominees for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, hoping to edge out David Backes and Pavel Datsyuk to become the first Bruin to win the trophy since Steve Kasper in 1982.

The Selke Trophy is awarded annually "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."

"I take pride in playing on both sides of the rink and doing the little details in order to help the team win," the center said.

Bergeron led the entire NHL in plus/minus at +36 during the 2011-12 season and was a regular contributor on the penalty kill, leading all team forwards with an average of 1:48 shorthanded time on ice per game.

The 26-year-old won the most face-offs in the league with 973, winning 123 puck drops while his team was shorthanded.

"In my mind, there’s no doubt that Patrice deserves this," coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron’s nomination.

Bergeron is not the only Bruin being recognized for his defensive prowess.

B’s captain Zdeno Chara is slated as a nominee for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, which goes to the defensive player who exemplifies the "greatest all-round ability in the position."

Zee regularly contributes to the power play and penalty kill. He’s on the ice for 25 minutes a game, logging 1,975 minutes of overall ice time in the regular season alone.

He was ranked third overall in plus/minus across the league, behind only teammates Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin at the top of the chart.

Outside his own end, Chara produced a career best 52 points offensively this season, including 12 goals and 40 assists, utilizing his world record 108.8 mph trebuchet of a slap shot to help his team in the offensive zone.

The 6’9" defenseman stood tall throughout the 2009 season to earn his first Norris – but didn’t have a big ego when accepting the award.

"It's a huge honor and I'm very humble to be standing here and accepting this award," the 255-pound Slovakian said as he towered over the podium.

Big Zee recently played his 1,000th NHL game back in March and was elected a captain for the 2012 All-Star Game in Ottawa.

Chara is one of three Bruins to have previously won the Norris trophy in the franchise’s storied history with legends Ray Bourque and Bobby Orr as the other two recipients. He’s already in pretty good company to say the least.

The 2012 NHL Awards will be broadcast live in the United States on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

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