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mb financial Features

Fans Choice Awards: Havlat Top Forward; Keith Top D-Man

Monday, 06.15.2009 / 10:19 AM / Features
By Brad Boron  - chicagoblackhawks.com
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Fans Choice Awards: Havlat Top Forward; Keith Top D-Man
chicagoblackhawks.com is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Blackhawks Fans Choice Awards. At least one new winner will be announced each day this week. Thanks to everyone who voted!



Havlat, completely healthy for the first time as a Blackhawk, had arguably the best season of his career in 2008-09, setting new career highs in assists (48) and points (77) and pacing the team in both categories. It could also be argued that no Blackhawk was as “clutch” as the 28-year-old winger, who scored five game-winning goals in the regular season and was involved in a number of key tallies during the playoffs. Combined with linemates Andrew Ladd and Dave Bolland, Havlat gave the Blackhawks as dangerous a line as any in the NHL -- an offensively-gifted line that could also defend in their own zone, as well as one that wasn’t afraid to be on either end of a check. Whether or not the unrestricted free agent returns to the Hawks next season, Havlat was a huge part of this season’s enormous success.

Nominees:
Martin Havlat (55%)
Jonathan Toews (25%)
Patrick Kane (11%)
Patrick Sharp (9%)



Though fellow blueliner Brian Campbell stole most of the headlines in the offseason, Keith remained the model of consistency in 2008-09. Keith improved in nearly every major category from ’07-08, setting new career highs in assists (36), points (44), and plus/minus rating (+33), as well as leading the Blackhawks in ice time (25:34). Keith and defensive partner Brent Seabrook anchored the Blackhawks’ penalty kill unit, which killed 81 percent of penalties in the regular season. In the four games that Keith missed with an injury in January, the Hawks went 1-1-2 and surrendered six power play goals. One of the cornerstones of the Hawks’ future plans, Keith will hopefully be prowling Chicago's blue line for years to come.

Nominees:
Duncan Keith (53%)
Brent Seabrook (37%)
Brian Campbell (6%)
Cam Barker (3%)
Matt Walker (1%)


Other categories:
Tuesday: Unsung Hero / Prospect You Most Want To See
Wednesday: Biggest Surprise
Thursday: Play of the Year
Friday: Most Valuable Player