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Wings' award streak ends in Vegas

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Pavel Datsyuk and his guest arrive at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas Wednesday night. (Photo by Getty Images)

The Red Wings’ streak of winning at least one NHL award from 2000-11 – which is an a league record – ended Wednesday night when Boston center Patrice Bergeron beat out the Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk for the 2012 Selke Trophy.

Datsyuk was seeking his fourth Selke, an award given annually to the game’s best defensive forward. He has been a Selke finalist for the past five seasons, winning the trophy three times from 2008-10.

A fourth Selke Trophy would have tied the Wings’ Russian center with Hall of Famer Bob Gainey for the most times capturing the award. Gainey won the Selke from 1978-81 in the first four years of the award’s inception.

With his three Selke wins, Datsyuk joins fellow Russian Sergei Fedorov (1994, 1996) as the only Wings’ forwards to win the Selke more than once. Steve Yzerman (2000) and Kris Draper (2004) also received the award.

During the Wings’ record-setting streak, Datsyuk also won the Lady Byng Trophy four straight times from 2006-09.

A knee injury requiring surgery in February kept Datsyuk out of Detroit’s lineup for 11 games. But he returned to finish the season second on the team, finishing with 67 points. It marked the seventh time in the last eight seasons that he produced at least 65 points. The two-time Stanley Cup champion also finished first in assists (48) and returned to the NHL’s top 10 in faceoff proficiency after winning 56.2 percent. It was the eighth consecutive season he finished above 53 percent.

In the league, Datsyuk finished first with 1.38 takeaways per game and third with 97 steals.

After Detroit was eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Datsyuk chased after a different championship playing for Russia in the World Championship in Finland. Datsyuk scored a goal to help propel his country past Slovakia in the finals for his first gold medal.

Bergeron is the first Bruins’ player to win the Selke since Steve Kasper in 1982. The 26-year-old Bergeron led the NHL in plus-minus this season with plus-36 rating and won the most faceoffs (973). Bergeron’s faceoff win percentage of 59.3 percent was second best in the NHL among players who took at least 500 draws.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular-season. The trophy was first awarded at the end of the 1977–78 NHL season. It was named after Frank J. Selke, former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

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