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Your Next Norris Trophy Winner

from Dan Rosen and E.J. Hradek of NHL.com,

Nicklas Lidstrom has taken home the Norris Trophy seven times in his illustrious career, including last season as the 41-year-old captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

Can he do it again?

The right answer is yes, Lidstrom absolutely can, because he’s that good—but that doesn’t mean we think he’s going to.

If you buy into what we’re selling, the Norris Trophy will get some new fingerprints on it come late June, when all the hardware gets handed out at the annual NHL Awards Show:

ROSEN’S NORRIS TROPHY WINNER
Shea Weber, Predators

Weber will earn every penny of the $7.5 million coming his way this season. Forget being just a finalist for this award—this season, he’s finally going to take home the hardware.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shea+weber

Comments

UMFan's avatar

Nick’s last Norris was last year. The man could have a better year this year yet he won’t win it. Why? Because that would tie him with the great Bobby Orr. To put Lidstrom on the same plane as Orr is something I don’t think the hockey writers are willing to do.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 09/28/11 at 12:34 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

UMFan, I agree with you. How many times has he been a “runner-up” for the Nick Trophy? 3? He should have probably already passed Orr but now, the PHWA is going to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 09/28/11 at 01:42 PM ET

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Well the season is a week away from starting, so at least nobody’s making predictions too early this year…

Posted by Garth on 09/28/11 at 02:03 PM ET

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Definitely way to early for this sort of prediction, though I do agree that Nick will have to be head and shoulders above the rest or the PHWA will c*ckblock him on that oh-so-holy #8.  However, if Rosen is gonna make a prediction he should pick someone other than Weber. Best D-man in the league?  Please….he’s not even the best D-man on his team.

Posted by JustAnotherHomer from not at home on 09/28/11 at 03:33 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Oh yeah!  Weber is not nearly the complete defenseman his partner is.  Ryan Suter is the next best complete defenseman to NicK Lidstrom in the league.  He does everything and I have never seen him make a wrong move.

I know I know more about hockey than do most fans and most sports writers since I’ve been following this game since 1946.  I remember the Red Wings without Gordie Howe.

Do not get me wrong, Weber is an excellent d-man.  He hits like Pronger and plays way smarter.  But his overall game is not nearly as good as his partner’s.  If it comes down to keeping one or the other next year, you can bet the Predators will keep Suter.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 09/28/11 at 04:01 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Longevity and peak aren’t the same thing.  Lidstrom doesn’t have to have ever been as good as Orr to have had more Norris worthy seasons.  It’s a shame the voters won’t see it that way.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 09/28/11 at 04:04 PM ET

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Weber is overrated. Big hitters with booming slapshots almost always are—it’s hard to understand and even harder to quantify defense, so flashiness carries the day.

Weber’s a good defenseman. One of the best in the league. But he’s not the best. He’s probably not even as good as his partner, though the two are statistically difficult to separate (due to the fact that the two spend over 90 percent of their minutes together when both are healthy).

It is worth noting that Weber’s defensive effectiveness suffered greatly when he wasn’t playing with Suter. Suter was on the ice for only 55 goals against last season—a shockingly low number for a guy who played over 1,700 minutes of all-purpose ice time—compared to 80 goals against for Weber. The fact that Suter played fewer games (70 versus 82) accounts for some but not all of this discrepancy.

Of course, if it had been Weber injured instead of Suter, the same sort of skew might have occurred. But there’s good reason to believe that Suter’s high level of play is propping up Weber’s stats (at least on the defensive side of the puck), even if the effect is mutual.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 09/28/11 at 07:08 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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