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And The Award Goes To…

June 18, 2021, 10:07 PM ET [2 Comments]
Matt Ross
Florida Panthers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
“Sasha,” “Barky,” whatever you call him, Aleksander Barkov needs to make some room on his mantle to fit his new Frank J. Selke Trophy.

The Panthers captain, and first-line center, was recognized as “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game” for the 2020-21 season.



Per the Cats’ website:

The National Hockey League announced today that Florida Panthers Captain Aleksander Barkov has been named the recipient of the 2020-21 Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually 'to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.'

"This recognition of Sasha's ability stands as a testament to his growth as a player and as a leader," said Panthers General Manager Bill Zito. "The Florida Panthers organization is tremendously proud of our captain's achievements. The Selke Trophy is synonymous with sacrifice, and over the past eight seasons Sasha has demonstrated time and again that he is willing to do what it takes for the team to succeed."

Barkov becomes the second Finland-born player to win the award after Jere Lehtinen (1998, 1999, 2003). Other finalists for this year's Selke Trophy were Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins) and Mark Stone (Vegas Golden Knights).

Barkov, 25, appeared in 50 regular season games with Florida in 2020-21, registering 58 points (26-32-58). Barkov led the Panthers in goals (26), even-strength goals (18), even-strength points (38) and shots on goal (176), while leading the team's forwards in takeaways (39) and total ice time (1,046:52).

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Tampere, Finland, registered a career-high 54.9 faceoff win percentage, taking 1,026 total faceoffs. Barkov owned a 59.0 offensive zone faceoff win percentage and 53.2 defensive zone faceoff win percentage. The Panthers captain is one of just 10 NHL forwards to take over 1,000 faceoffs this season. Of the 10 forwards, Barkov had the fewest games played. His 20:56 average time on ice per game ranked ninth among NHL forwards.

Originally selected second overall by Florida in the 2013 NHL Draft, Barkov won the 2019 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy awarded annually 'to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.'“


In case you missed some of the stats for the 2020-21 campaign in the above blurb, here they are again:

Barkov, 25, appeared in 50 regular season games with Florida in 2020-21, registering 58 points (26-32-58). Barkov led the Panthers in goals (26), even-strength goals (18), even-strength points (38) and shots on goal (176), while leading the team's forwards in takeaways (39) and total ice time (1,046:52).

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Tampere, Finland, registered a career-high 54.9 faceoff win percentage, taking 1,026 total faceoffs. Barkov owned a 59.0 offensive zone faceoff win percentage and 53.2 defensive zone faceoff win percentage. The Panthers captain is one of just 10 NHL forwards to take over 1,000 faceoffs this season. Of the 10 forwards, Barkov had the fewest games played. His 20:56 average time on ice per game ranked ninth among NHL forwards.”


I knew Barky had a tremendous season, but until I saw the numbers, I didn’t know how good it really was…wow!

It’s one thing to lead the team in all those offensive categories, but to also be the top dog in takeaways and ice time? Very impressive.

If that wasn’t enough, he was also second in blocked shots (37) behind Noel Acciari (63). What can you say about the number of blocked shots that Acciari had? What a pincushion. Haha. Awesome stuff.

by the way…is Barky the first Panther to win the Selke?

Anyways, congrats to #16. The new highway sign looks great.



While Q missed out on the Jack Adams award for Coach of the Year, another Cat is still in the running for an award with Bill Zito is currently battling it out with Marc Bergevin (MTL) and Lou Lamoriello (NYI) for the Jim Gregory Award for GM of the Year.

Per the NHL website:

Zito was hired Sept. 2, and in his first season the Panthers had their best-ever points percentage (.705) and finished second in the Discover Central Division (37-14-5).

"Bill coming on board, he did a great job of bringing in different staff and adding some really nice pieces to our team," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville told NHL Network. "Significant contributions … he brought a lot of the personality in."

The Panthers signed unrestricted free agent forwards Carter Verhaeghe, Alex Wennberg and Anthony Duclair, and defenseman Radko Gudas, and acquired forward Patric Hornqvist (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Markus Nutivaara (Columbus Blue Jackets) in trades during the offseason. Forward Sam Bennett was acquired in a trade with the Calgary Flames on April 12 and scored 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 10 games. Defenseman Brandon Montour came over in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on April 10 to help ease the loss of top defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who sustained a season-ending broken leg March 28.

Florida also agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with goalie Spencer Knight, the No. 13 pick of the 2019 draft. Knight made his NHL debut April 20, and started Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup First Round against the Lightning. He made 36 saves in his postseason debut, a 4-1 win.

Zito is the second Panthers GM to be a finalist for the award; Dale Tallon finished second in 2011-12.”


You guys know me, I think Zito has done a great job in the small amount of time he’s been here and I believe this off-season will see him continue to put his stamp on things as he reshapes the DNA of this team/organization.

______________________

Lots of exciting things to on the horizon…Go Panthers!

Thought you guys might appreciate this. Ha!

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