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Happy with Selke, Pavel wants Byng again

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
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On Wednesday, Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk became the first NHL player to win the Selke Trophy for a third straight time in 29 years. After receiving the trophy in the Pearl Theater in the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Datsyuk addressed the media, and spoke of being the first player since Montreal's Bob Gainey to be recognized as the league's best defensive forward in at least three consecutive years.

Question: What's it like to win the Selke? I think it's sort of one of those awards that probably means more to the players than the fans. Do you think that's fair?

PAVEL DATSYUK:  For me, actually, every award means a lot. The Selke it's like I'm kind of between forward and defenseman.  And for me it's a perfect for help. If I can help defensemen, I am forward. This trophy is special for me. It means a lot. I'm happy I win.

Q: Did you play that way sort of growing up, or did you have to learn to be that kind of player once you got to the NHL?
DATSYUK: When I growing up, you just supposed to be more harder guy because you need help in forward, and help defensemen. But also I'm looking first to defensemen, to help defensemen. And if I have chance to help forward, especially when I come to there, everybody tell me I have more offensive skill.

But you just need to work to be a better player, to have more defensive skill. And I have lots of player examples at the end of practice. And I'm happy to learn, not to miss time.

Q: Who did you learn from?

DATSYUK: It's Steve, it's everyone. Every day I just learn from them.

Q: Do you go home for the summer to Russia?

DATSYUK: I go home three weeks and I come back for one week. Then go back for whole summer and be there for almost whole summer. This summer a little bit longer than I usually would have a few years ago, and I'm happy to.

Q: Do you do a lot of on-ice stuff in the off-season or do you stay away from the rink?

DATSYUK: I'm off ice. On ice I try to build special the last three, four years, I try to be more hungry to ice. So I do more off ice.

Q: Is it as much fun making a big defensive play during the course of a hockey game, coming back, lifting up a guy's stick as it is scoring a goal?

DATSYUK: I'm happy to. I just disappoint a guy and make him not score on us and help the team. I'm very happy for this one. I wanted to score a lot, but I'm happy if they don't score to us.  I like it. It makes me happy, and it makes me fun too.

Q: Marty (St. Louis) finally won the Lady Byng. How lucky is he?
DATSYUK: I'm kind of jealous. I want to break history. But I'm glad for him, congratulations to him, he deserves. I have too much penalties, and not too many points.

Q: Can you just describe how he plays out there as a smaller player and how he's able to do what he does?

DATSYUK: Yeah, he just plays well, and he just needs to fight every time with the big guys.  There are lots of big guys, but he does well. I like how he plays. He just doesn't matter he's small, he's just really an aggressive player.

Q: Talk about your trophy winning? Being a defensive forward in that role to win this trophy, how does that feel?

DATSYUK: I feel unbelievable. I'm happy to win. This trophy means a lot for me. It's like I help defensemen, I help forward. It's best forward and defensemen, and I'm happy. I wish it's not my last one. I wish next year I just took back the Lady Byng Trophy.

Q: How do you win a trophy like that on the ice?

DATSYUK: It's not only my job like it's a lot of players help me, just give me opportunities and chances and appreciative for my teammates, too. The whole organization gives me a big chance to play in the NHL and win this trophy.

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