by PuckStopsHere on 04/09/13 at 12:52 AM ET
Nearing the end of February I picked Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins as the Norris Trophy leader. He took over from Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators who suffered an Achilles injury. Letang too has fallen to injury. He hasn't played in slightly over a week. That leaves us in a situation where there isn't a clear front-runner for the Norris Trophy, yet somebody still must win it.
A look at the top scorers among defencemen gives us PK Subban, Ryan Suter and Niklas Kronwall. None of them is among the strongest defensive players in the league. There is room for a strong defensive defenceman who is a little back of these guys as the Norris Trophy leader. That is where I pick Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators.
Weber had a slow start offensively but he is making up for it now. He is currently eighth among defencemen with 23 points. His defence remains strong as always. Weber is second in ice time in the NHL. He stands 13 seconds behind Brian Campbell. He plays against the toughest competition of any Nashville defenceman and has as good a +/- as any Nashville defenceman. His +4 rating doesn't stand out because Nashville hasn't been a strong team this season. They are well back of a playoff berth and have allowed more goals than they have scored.
It shouldn't be a shock that I am picking Shea Weber as the Norris Trophy leader. He is a multiple time runner up in the past and was picked by many people to win this year. I am the only person that I have seen picking him this season. He has been forgotten because of a slow start. He has made up for that with his play of the last several weeks. In a shortened season it is quite an accomplishment to get back into the Norris Trophy race despite a slow start. It is a clear showing of Shea Weber's talent.
I would argue that nobody should win the Norris Trophy this season. Since somebody must win it this season I support Shea Weber. That shouldn't surprise anyone given his past few years but nevertheless I think it does. He has been written off by many after a slow start this season.
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