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Toews, MacLean win on first day of NHL Awards

by Dan Rosen /

CHICAGO -- In between Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron found themselves embroiled in a far less stressful yet still important individual battle for some NHL hardware.

Toews won it Friday, edging Bergeron and Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk for the Selke Trophy, which is handed out annually to the best defensive forward in the NHL as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

The winners of seven other postseason awards and trophies were revealed by the NHL on Friday. The Hart, Vezina, Norris and Calder trophies, along with the Ted Lindsay Award, will be presented Saturday during a live special on NBC Sports Network in the United States and CBC in Canada at 7 p.m. ET.

Toews finished with 75 first-place votes among the 179 ballots cast and received a total of 1,260 points to edge Bergeron, who won the Selke Trophy last season. Bergeron finished with 78 first-place votes and 1,250 points. Datsyuk, a three-time winner and six-time finalist, was third with 737 points.

The players received 10 points for a first-place vote; seven for a second-place vote; five, three and one thereafter.

"To be able to go head-to-head with guys like that in the playoffs and to know them in the past, you understand how much they mean to their teams, how much they contribute offensively and defensively," said Toews, a driving force behind Chicago allowing a League-low 2.02 goals per game in the regular season. "To be talked about with them in the same sentence and compared to these guys is absolutely amazing, so it's a special award to win."

The Ottawa Senators were big winners Friday with coach Paul MacLean given the Jack Adams Award and captain Daniel Alfredsson taking home the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

"It's a great day for our organization," Alfredsson said.

MacLean won the Jack Adams Award for the first time in his career, topping Joel Quenneville (Chicago) and Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim Ducks). MacLean was a top-three selection on 56 of the 83 ballots cast by members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association; he received 28 first-place votes for 206 points. Quenneville received 22 first-place votes and 160 points to finish second.

The Senators were 25-17-6 and made the Stanley Cup Playoffs despite losing center Jason Spezza, reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, towering defenseman Jared Cowen, No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson and top goal-scorer Milan Michalek to long-term injuries. Ottawa played a League-high 14 rookies and still had the best goals-against per game (2.08) in the Eastern Conference.

"It was important that I continue to set the expectations of the team at a high level but also be realistic about those expectations, not try to do things we can't do, not try to play ways we can't play," MacLean said in reference to the injuries Ottawa had to deal with. "We had Erik Karlsson injured and Jason Spezza injured -- we didn't have those two players playing in Binghamton (American Hockey League). … We tried to stay as real as we could game by game and give the players realistic expectations and a realistic way to play the game to have success. I think the work of our goaltenders was a huge help to us. It gave us a ton of confidence."

MacLean's nod as the NHL's coach of the year comes on the two-year anniversary of the day he was hired by Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray. MacLean previously was an assistant coach for three NHL teams and toiled in the International Hockey League and United Hockey League after he retired from a 10-year playing career in the NHL.

"This kind of gives me the credibility that I was right, I could coach in the League," MacLean said. "Now I'm just scared to freaking death, so I've got to do it again."

MacLean also said the NHL could one day look into renaming the Mark Messier Leadership Award to honor Alfredsson, who beat out Toews and Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown for it this year.

"One of the things I have a lot of respect for is the guy has been able to have a body of work with one organization and not run out of ideas of how to reinvent himself every day, to have a consistent message and a consistent attitude of who he is, not only as a player but as a person," Messier told about Alfredsson. "... You can talk to anybody around the League -- players, managers, people in the press, fans -- they would say the same thing, that he holds a lot of credibility."

Alfredsson also holds a lot of responsibility, and this season he had to make sure he enforced his voice as the Senators battled through the injuries.

"I think it's very well-deserved, especially for this season. I think by far he was the best captain in the National Hockey League with what our team faced and how our team and he continued to compete," MacLean said. "… [It] just adds to his legacy and to his Hall of Fame career."

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero topped Bob Murray (Anaheim) and Marc Bergevin (Montreal Canadiens) as the fourth winner of the annual NHL General Manager of the Year Award.

Shero, clearly humbled as he spoke on a media conference call after the awards were announced, talked about how proud he is that his father, Fred Shero, won the first Jack Adams Award in 1974 as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. Ray Shero mentioned how wonderful it is that his father's name will forever be on that trophy the same way his name will now forever be on the trophy for the League's best general manager.

"The NHL GM of the year, it's kind of cool to be recognized like that," Shero said. "It's a great recognition and I don't take it lightly."

Shero won a close race with 14 first-place votes among the 39 ballots cast and 94 total points. Murray had 88 points and Bergevin 75. Managers received five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

The Penguins finished first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season with 72 points. Shero won the NHL Trade Deadline as well by acquiring Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray and Jussi Jokinen. Pittsburgh reached the Eastern Conference Final, but was swept by Boston.

"[It's] something I will always have on my resume," Shero said. "Sometimes you're going to need it."

Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding was the winner of the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is handed out by the PHWA to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

Harding, 28, played this season despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall. He appeared in five regular-season games and five in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He missed 33 games while on injured reserve.

"I found out about the diagnosis, and obviously it hit me hard," Harding said. "But right away I knew I had to do something to kind of get back at it and find out what would work for me. During the year I had that tough stretch. But I don't think it ever crossed my mind that I was going to give up or anything like that."

Harding said he has no plans to stop playing.

"That's the biggest thing with MS, you don't know how you're going to feel the next day. You might feel good for the next 10 years. You don't really know what's going to come the next day," Harding said. "But for myself, I'm going to control what I can control with eating right, with exercise, making sure that I'm in shape, and just mentally be focused on the goal."

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis won the Lady Byng Trophy for the third time in the past four seasons. He beat out Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and New York Islanders forward Matt Moulson. St. Louis also won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the League in scoring with 60 points.

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg won the NHL Foundation Player Award, which recognizes the player who applies the core values of hockey -- commitment, perseverance and teamwork -- to enrich the lives of people in his community.

The NHL Foundation will present a $25,000 to the Zetterberg Foundation to help fund the creation of three water stations in Kemba, Ethiopia, which will help provide 19,000 people with clean water for a lifetime.

Despite losing the Selke Trophy to Toews, Bergeron did not go empty-handed. He was named the winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.


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