In 1977, the Board of Governors of the NHL decided
to create an award that would recognize the forward who best excels
in the defensive aspects of the game. It was decided that the
award would honour Frank J. Selke, a former executive with both
the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, Frank Selke
was a committed builder to NHL hockey for sixty years, and was
inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 1960. Working
closely with Conn Smythe, the two were instrumental in the building
of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931, and Selke watched the Leafs win
three Stanley Cups while in their employ. But a falling out with
Smythe during the Second World War resulted in Selke joining the
Canadiens in 1946, and he was general manager for six more championships
The Selke Trophy was first awarded in 1977-78, with Bob Gainey of the Canadiens winning the award.
Leading winners: Bob Gainey (4), Guy Carbonneau, Jere Lehtinen(3).