Patrice Bergeron has been named the winner of the 2022-23 Frank J. Selke Trophy. The award is given annually to the NHL’s best defensive forward. This year marked the 11th consecutive season that Bergeron was nominated for the award and the fifth time in his career that he was named the winner after receiving 160 of a possible 195 first-place votes. This mark is the most in NHL history with Bergeron breaking a tie with Bob Gainey with this victory.
Elias Lindholm finished in second place for the award with Aleksander Barkov finishing in third place. Ryan O’Reilly was the only other player to have received a first-place vote.
It’s unsurprising to see Bergeron win this award and he was considered the odds-on favorite to take home the hardware this season in what may have been the best defensive season of his career. Bergeron had just a 1.6 on-ice expected goals against per 60 minutes this past season which is a pretty remarkable number to consider. It’s even more impressive when considering that the next closest mark was 1.85.
Per the Bruins’ press release, “Bergeron also led the league in shot attempts allowed per 60 (40.4), Corsi For percentage (65.58), expected goals against per 60 (1.56), shot share (67.23), scoring chances against per 60 (18.85), high-danger attempts against per 60 (6.26) and shots for per 60 (48.47).”
Also unsurprising was Bergeron’s acceptance of the award. Following an introduction by Doug Jarvis, the winner of the Selke Trophy following the 1983-84 season, Bergeron didn’t spend a single time talking about himself or his own body of work. Instead, Bergeron would dedicate his time entirely to thanking everybody around him.
“I’ve had so much fun along the way. So many people I need to thank. I’m humbled by the honor and I’m sharing this award with my teammates, past and present, my coaches, trainers and the whole Boston Bruins organization; thanks for making me a better player and person. I also want to thank the Jacobs family, Cam Neely and Don Sweeney. To my former agent Kent Hughes and current agent Phil Lecavalier – thanks for your guidance. I want to thank the Bruins’ fans; you guys are incredible. Thanks for giving us the extra jump we need some nights. And also to my wife and three beautiful kids, Zack, Victoria, Noah, thanks for your support and always being there for me no matter what.”
Bergeron would proceed to thank his family and friends back home in french, thanking them for all they’ve done for him and saying that he appreciates them.
Bergeron Has Already Cemented His Legacy in Boston
The gold standard for consistency both on and off the ice as a player and a person, Bergeron is one of the all-time great players to grace the NHL. His excellence has been evident from the very first time he took to the ice with the Bruins and his continued success was a result of hard work and a commitment to being the best version of himself throughout the entirety of his career.
The future is still up in the air for Bergeron as it’s unclear what his intentions are for next season; the veteran forward and captain of the Bruins still hasn’t indicated whether or not he’ll sign a new contract or retire from hockey altogether this offseason. Whatever he decides, he’ll have the full support of the city of Boston behind him considering everything he’s done and will likely continue to do for the community, the team and everybody in between.
Somewhat notable is the fact that Brad Marchand also received 15 total votes, including one second-place vote, six third-place votes, four fifth and four sixth-place votes. Marchand has always been one of the league’s best defensive forwards, but his efforts are often overshadowed by his linemate. It’s hard to imagine Marchand minds this very much, though, as he himself is among Begeron’s biggest fans.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.