Before fans could chew on the first batch of players named to the Vegas Golden Knights, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron reclaimed the title of “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” and made a little history in the process.
Bergeron’s win was his record-trying fourth, joining Montreal Canadiens great Bob Gainey who was on hand to present the award.
Bergeron first won the award in 2012, and then won it again in consecutive seasons in 2014 and 2015 before Anze Kopitar claimed it for the first time last summer. Bergeron hasn’t finished lower than second since first winning the award.
Once again the fulcrum of Boston’s top line, Bergeron anchored one of the most statistically dominant units in the NHL last season. His 61.1 Corsi For percentage was tops in the entire NHL, and he led the league in faceoff wins. Bergeron also put more than 300 shots on target in a season for the first time in a decade.
Former winner Ryan Kesler placed second in the voting, while first-time nominee Mikko Koivu rounded out the nominees.
Here’s a look at the complete ballot: