“I like to be thought of more of a two-way player, but hey, I’ll definitely take this award. It’s an honour,” Brind’Amour said. “Besides, it’s the only way I’ll get on this (awards) show.”
The veteran Carolina Hurricanes centre was the choice once again Wednesday night from selected members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, totalling 420 points in voting, barely edging out Samuel Pahlsson of the Anaheim Ducks, who placed second in voting with 405 points.
Jay Pandolfo of the New Jersey Devils was third with 311 points.
Brind’Amour is the first back-to-back winner since Jere Lehtinen did it for the Dallas Stars in 1998 and ’99. The 36-year-old Brind’Amour ranked second among all NHL centres with a 59.2 faceoff win percentage and ranked third among all NHL forwards in average ice time per game at 23:19 while also helping Carolina to the sixth-best penalty kill in the NHL.
But he can put up offensive numbers, too, which is why he doesn’t like the “checker” tag. He had 82 points (26-56) in 78 games this season, his highest output in 11 years.
Pahlsson’s time may come next season.
The voting for the regular-season award was done before the playoffs, before Pahlsson’s coming-out party in the post-season when his tremendous checking job helped the Ducks capture the Stanley Cup.
Pahlsson was a first-time finalist. He led all NHL players in short-handed ice time and led Anaheim’s fifth-ranked penalty killing.
Pandolfo also a first-time finalist, stepping away from the shadows of his linemate John Madden, who won the Selke in 2001. Pandolfo helped the Devils allow the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference at 201.
Chris Drury of Buffalo was fourth in voting with 300 points while Mike Fisher of Ottawa was fifth at 272.