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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

No Surprise Here: Sasha Barkov a Selke Finalist

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Barkov
Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov is applauded after being named second star of the game against the Dallas Stars on Dec. 6 in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

FORT LAUDERDALE — In what should come as no surprise to anyone, Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov was named one of three finalists for the Selke Trophy which goes to the “forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”

The other finalists: Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Carolina’s Jordan Staal.

Barkov is the only player in Florida history to win the Selke — and is a strong favorite to win his second.

“It means a lot,” said Barkov, who won the award in 2021 and has been a finalist in three of the past four seasons. “Every year, I just try to do my job and try to be as good as possible both offensively and defensively. Playing on a good team with good systems and great, great teammates certainly helps too. It means a lot. It’s a great thing, for sure.”

In the NHLPA player poll released last month, Barkov was voted among his peers as the second most complete player in the NHL behind Sidney Crosby.

With Patrice Bergeron retiring after winning the past two of his record six Selke’s, Barkov appears to be the heir apparent when it comes to this award.

Although winning the Selke is not something Barkov strives for, playing the kind of game that wins this award is.

“That trophy goes to the best two-way player, and that is certainly what I try to be,” Barkov told FHN in April.

“I am not trying to win a trophy, but just want to be as good as I can on offense, on defense, in taking faceoffs, working on the penalty kill or on the power play. I want to be as good as I can wherever this team needs me.

“At the same time, Bergeron won six Selkes and I know how hard it was going against him every time we were on the ice together. Going against him was a battle from the opening faceoff. You were not getting a night off if you were playing him. So, winning one was certainly a huge honor.”

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
FLORIDA PANTHERS (ATL1) V. BOSTON BRUINS (A2)
BEST-OF-7 SERIES
GAME 1

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