by PuckStopsHere on 01/14/12 at 02:16 PM ET
It was mid-November when I picked Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators as the top defenceman so far this year. He played so well that about a month later he became my pick for MVP. Then he missed a few games with a concussion and lost his momentum. I am now picking Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins as the top defenceman so far this year.
Chara won the 2009 Norris Trophy and has been a top defenceman in the league for years. Chara has 26 points in his 38 games so far this season. He has a +28 +/- rating which is tops among the league’s defencemen. He does this playing against some of the top competition in the league. Chara is having a very strong season. Perhaps it could be the strongest in his already great career.
At this point in the season, Weber and Nicklas Lidstrom would be the other nominees for the award, but it is clear that Chara is the frontrunner.
Chara is 34 years old and at that age players often start to show a decline in ability. He hasn’t yet. He seems to keep getting better. Nicklas Lidstrom is a strong counter-example to this trend. At age 41 he is still capable of a Norris nomination. Could Chara stay a top player for as long?
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