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Bruins’ Bergeron wins Selke trophy

Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron won the Selke Trophy for best defensive forward during the 2012 NHL Awards show at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas.

Steve Marcus/REUTERS

Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron won the Selke Trophy for best defensive forward during the 2012 NHL Awards show at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas.

While Zdeno Chara left the NHL Awards in Wynn Resort in Las Vegas empty-handed, Patrice Bergeron walked away with some hardware.

Bergeron was named the Frank J. Selke Trophy winner, an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.

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Bergeron thanked his teammates and members of the Bruins organization. He beat out St. Louis Blues center David Backes and Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk.

“This is the way you learn to play the game (both sides of the rink). Ever since I was 12 years old, I never wanted to get scored against while I was out there,” he said. “To win the Stanley Cup is something that I am proud of, but it’s not going to get anywhere close to the Stanley Cup.”

He credited his junior coach Real Caiemeant for learning this style of play. “It was something that stuck in my head, something I wanted to do.”

Bergeron, 26, led the NHL in plus/minus this season at +36 and won the most faceoffs in the NHL with 973. Bergeron’s faceoff win percentage of 59.3 percent was second best in the league.

On his first nomination, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson took home the James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded to the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.

When Karlsson went up to the stage to receive his award, he remarked on the size of the trophy. “I don’t think I realized how big it was until I got here,” he said. “I will probably have to look at the tape a couple of times to figure out what happened.”

Karlsson had a breakout season, leading all NHL defensemen in scoring with 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists) in 81 games. He recorded 25 more points than any other league defenseman – the widest winning margin since Pittsburgh’s Paul Coffey lapped the field by 38 points in 1988-89 – and set Ottawa franchise records for blueline assists and points.

Chara helped the Bruins capture their third Northeast Division title in four seasons. The captain led all defensemen and tied for third in the NHL in plus-minus (+33) – matching his league-leading rating from 2010-11 – and recorded a career-high 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists) to rank fourth among all blueliners in scoring.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for both the Norris Trophy and Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.

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