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Datsyuk gets second Selke, fourth Lady Byng

by Christy Hammond / Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk got the crowd laughing when he went on stage after winning the Lady Byng award.

“Second,” Datsyuk said as he accepted his second award of the night. “Now I’m more confident.”

He went on to thank his teammates and the Red Wings' organization for their role in his success. Datsyuk became the first player to win back-to-back Selke and Lady Byng honors in NHL history.

He claimed his second straight Frank J. Selke Trophy by a narrow margin (945-942) over Philadelphia’s Mike Richards. The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) gives the Selke award to the NHL’s best defensive-forward.

Datsyuk finished the 2008-09 season with 89 takeaways, ranking him second in the league. His plus-34 rating placed him third overall and he ended the regular season with 97 points, good for fourth in the league. Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler was also a finalist for the award.

Detroit’s star forward had this to say after receiving the honor: “Hello everybody, again, thank you to the people who gave me this award. It is an honor for me to be selected from such good players. Thank you guys. Thank you to hockey fans, especially those back in Detroit. A special thank you to the Detroit organization: Ilitch family, management, work staff, trainers, and my teammates. Thank you guys. Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends, my agent. Without you, it wouldn’t be possible. It’s an honor to be a Red Wing – this award is for all of us. Thank you.”

Since 1994, a Red Wing has claimed the Selke six times. Two-way forward Sergei Fedorov won in 1994 and 1996. Steve Yzerman earned the honor in 2000. The PHWA voted Kris Draper as the recipient in 2004 before Datsyuk laid his claim in 2008 and now 2009.

LADY BYNG FOUR-PEAT: Datsyuk earned his fourth consecutive Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, receiving 933 points over Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis’ 662 points to become just the second NHL player to win four straight. The New York Rangers’ Frank Boucher was the last player to do so from 1928-1931. New Jersey’s Zach Parise came in third.

The Lady Byng is given to a player who best exemplifies sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct in combination with a high standard of playing ability. During his 81-game season, Datsyuk committed 11 minor penalties while racking up impressive numbers on both ends of the ice.

Datsyuk had this to say in his acceptance speech: “Second – now I’m more confident. You see, I’m back again. To be considered for this award with such strong competition is a great honor, thank you guys. I accept this award for Red Wings fans, the city of Detroit, and kids who play hockey. Never give up on your dreams. Thank you again for the Red Wings, teammates, management. Ilitch family, everyone who supported me. I really like it to have so much support. Thank you.”

Another Russian forward, Alexander Ovechkin, beat out Datsyuk and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin for both the Hart Trophy (league MVP) and the Lester B. Pearson Trophy (MVP as voted by the players).

LIDSTROM AND CHELIOS SHUT OUT: Red Wings’ defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios left the 2009 NHL Awards Show empty-handed. Detroit’s captain was up for his seventh Norris Trophy, awarded to the league’s top defenseman. Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins edged Washington’s Mike Green, 1,034-982, for the award with Lidstrom collecting 733 points from the PHWA ballots.

Chelios was up for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to a player who embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. He finished third in the voting behind winner Steve Sullivan of the Nashville Predators and Florida’s Richard Zednik.

WINGS NAMED TO SECOND ALL-STAR TEAM: The Professional Hockey Writers' Association selected three Red Wings players to the 2008-09 NHL Second All-Star Team: forward Marian Hossa, Datsyukand Lidstrom. It marked the first time Hossa received the honor.

OTHER RED WINGS’ FINISHES: While only three Detroit players finished in the top three for their respective awards, other Red Wings did draw votes from the PHWA. Henrik Zetterberg finished fourth in the Selke voting and 21st for the Hart. Teammate Marian Hossa came in 13th for the Selke and 24th for the Hart. Defenseman Brian Rafalski also earned some votes for the Lady Byng (8th) and Norris (9th).

FORMER WINGS MAKE APPEARANCES: Two players of Detroit’s famous Russian Five unit appeared on stage to present the Lester B. Pearson Trophy – Vladimir Konstantinov and Igor Larionov. There was extended applause from the crowd for Vladdie as he patiently stood by Larionov’s side and then asked the crowd, “How are you?” After the nominees were named, he then read off Alex Ovechkin to the crowd’s delight.

A third member, Sergei Fedorov, announced Ovechkin as the winner of the Hart Trophy to conclude the show.

Hart Trophy (league MVP) — Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Lester B. Pearson Award (MVP as voted by the players) — Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Norris Trophy (top defenseman) — Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Vezina Trophy (top netminder) — Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
Jack Adams Award (coach of the year) — Claude Julien, Boston Bruins
Calder Trophy (top rookie) — Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (most gentlemanly) — Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive-forward) — Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
King Clancy Trophy (humanitarian contributions) — Ethan Moreau, Edmonton Oilers
Lifetime Achievement Award — Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer) — Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Rocket Richard Trophy (most goals) — Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Jennings Trophy (fewest goals allowed) — Tim Thomas, Manny Fernandez, Boston Bruins
NHL Fan Fav Award (as voted by the fans) — Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Messier Award (leadership) — Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
NHL Foundation Player Award (community involvement) – Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets

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