Picking the Selke candidates
The boys at the Battle of Alberta had an interesting comment last week about Rod Brind'Amour's chances of winning the Selke, and it got me thinking about what objective measures you can use to determine the league's top defensive forward. First, here's Grabia/Fenwick:
I can pretty much guarantee that Rod Brind'Amour will get lots of Selke votes again this year despite the fact that he gets scored on more than Patty from Modesto on a Saturday night. He plays a lot, takes lots of faceoffs, and most importantly, he's extremely popular and few will object if he wins.It's true: Brind'Amour probably will finish in the Top 5 in voting for the trophy at the end of the year, and he's certainly been a popular choice at The Globe's weekly Trophy Tracker throughout the year. But the thing I'm wondering is: What statistical measures should factor into picking the winner here? And is there a way to objectively determine who the front-runners this season are? Can a pure penalty killer challenge for the award when so many 'defensive' forwards with gaudy point totals are always vying for it?
I'll have my own picks for important stat categories and Selke candidates, but I'm curious to see what others have in mind for this one.
(Unlike some of the more subjective awards, like the Lady Byng, I really like what the Selke stands for and think picking the 'right' winner is important, as it's one of the few avenues for recognizing important cogs who do things like kill penalties and play a shutdown role. It also makes me wish there was a similar award for defencemen named after Scott Stevens or Rod Langway.)