As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings by Gabbi
While there are several worthy candidates for the Norris trophy, there’s no doughty about who this year’s recipient should be. All puns aside, the top defenseman in the National Hockey League this season is Drew Doughty of the LA Kings. For a young guy playing only his third season in the NHL he’s playing as though he’s been in the league for 20 years. (While looking at his numbers I saw NHL Seasons: 3 and said, “No. There’s no way!”) Coming of a sophomore campaign where he was nominated for the Norris, he had 40 points and helped anchor the defense of the young Kings team. With that, young Drew Doughty has earned this year’s Norris trophy.
Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks by Realdeal
Visnovsky has to be the Norris favorite after leading all NHL Defensemen in points (62), and finishing second in goals (18). He’s played over 24 minutes per game for the Ducks, being a rock on their blueline when the team needed it the most. His 116 blocked shots are ahead of the likes of other Norris candidates such as Weber, Letang and Chara. His +18 is pretty respectable and his 5 Power Play goals and 31 Power Play points are part of the reason the Ducks finished second with the man advantage.
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators by Cujo
For the Norris trophy a man you should consider is Shea Weber. He might not have as many points as some, but he has been a real workhorse for the Nashville Predators. He is averaging 25:19 in ice time and 29 shifts per game. 2nd on the team in blocks and 1st in hits, he knows what it takes to get the job done on the ice.
Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes by Joey
I’m sorry say that again…Yandle is 24? Hard to believe that this year’s most consistent defenseman in all facets of the blueline game is young buck Keith Yandle of the Coyotes. Handling top minutes and opposing teams’ best forwards night in and night out in lieu of Zybnek Michalek’s departure to Pittsburgh could easily have been a sign of tough times for Yandle this year. Except not only has he filled in admirably but he has only improved in stats and intangibles for the third consecutive season. Considering the typical development of an NHL ready defenseman, we may be looking at the next big thing on the blueline for a long long time. This is no flash in the pan; this is a Norris candidate for years to come.
Final Voting (more…)