Red Wings' Datsyuk eyeing Selke award repeat

For the second straight year, Detroit Red Wings centre Pavel Datsyuk has been named a finalist for the Frank J. Selke trophy as top defensive forward. Vancouver's Ryan Kesler and Philadelphia's Mike Richards are the others.

Centre also looking to win 2nd consecutive Lady Byng Trophy

Pavel Datsyuk is working towards back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings and will have the chance to do the same at the NHL awards ceremony in June.

For the second straight year, the Red Wings centre has been named a finalist for the Lady Byng and Frank J. Selke trophies, the latter announced on Tuesday.

Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers are the other finalists for the Selke award, for top defensive forward, to be handed out June 18 in Las Vegas.

Datsyuk, 30, became the second player in league history to win both awards last season, joining Ron Francis, the 1995 recipient.

The Russian forward ranked second among all NHLers with 89 takeaways, was third with a plus-34 rating and won 56 per cent of his faceoffs (636 of 1,135).

Kesler helped the Canucks limit the opposition to 220 goals, the fourth-best defensive record in the Western Conference and seventh in the 30-team NHL.

The 24-year-old's career season included a team-best 74 takeaways. He also ranked first among forwards in short-handed ice time per game (three minutes, 19 seconds), posted a plus-8 rating and topped Vancouver by winning 54 per cent of his faceoffs (527 of 976).

Richards, also 24, was first on the Flyers in plus-minus (plus-22) and tops in the NHL with seven short-handed goals.

On Feb. 15, he became the first player in NHL history to score three career goals with his team down two men when he did it against the New York Rangers.

Richards went on to become the first player since Colorado's Joe Sakic in 1998 to notch short-handed goals in three consecutive games (Feb. 15-21).

The Frank J. Selke Trophy honours one of the great architects of Montreal and Toronto championship teams.

On Wednesday, the NHL will name the finalists for the Hart Trophy as most valuable player. Forwards Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins duo Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils are among the leading candidates.