Every year, the NHL hands out awards and every year, we debate them. Usually we're debating among candidates for individual awards or why a certain player was left off the ballot.
However, through some interesting conversation with Cam Charron and Arik James on Twitter, it seemed worth comparing different award winners to each other. The topic being discussed was whether a GM should prefer this year's Hart Trophy candidates or Selke Trophy candidates to build their team around. The three of us were unanimous in taking Ryan Kesler, Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Toews over the Hart crew of Corey Perry, Daniel Sedin and Martin St. Louis. The two-way games of the Selke nominees were superior to those nominated for the Hart, with comparatively little dropoff on offense.
The Frank J. Selke Award is given out each year for the NHL's best defensive forward. However, many times it is handed out to great two-way forwards like Steve Yzerman and Ron Francis who not only display fantastic defensive ability but top-end offensive ability as well. Other years it's awarded to defensive specialists like Kris Draper or John Madden. If the voters were serious about using stats to determine the winner, they'd just consult the Heavy Lifter Index.
As evidenced by the fact that Sergei Fedorov is the only player to ever win both awards, most voters feel the Hart and the Selke do not represent the same type of player. The Hart is frequently given to a top-scoring forward or a goalie who gives his team a disproportionate chance of winning.