The finalists for the 2009-2010 Norris Trophy were announced today by the National Hockey League. The NHL selects three finalists each year and among the three one is voted as the recipient of the trophy – and thereby announced as the league’s top defenseman for that given year. The three finalists this season are Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals.
Here is a reaction from Flyers beat writer from the Philadelphia Daily News, Frank Seravalli: PRONGER SNUBBED IN NORRIS VOTING
I don’t necessarily agree that Pronger should’ve been the recipient of the Norris Trophy – he’s truly only deserved it the one year he won it in 2000, while posting over sixty points – but I definitely think he should have been one of the final three over, say, Mike Green. Pronger had his highest point total since winning the Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007, notching 55 points in his first season with the Flyers. It’s easy to understand why people will think Mike Green is deserving of a top three spot, given that he lead all defenseman in scoring with an astounding 76 points in 75 games. However, as Seravalli points out, the award is supposed to be given to the best defenseman, in that the player who plays the strongest defensively in the entire league. So yes, while Green can outscore everyone on the blueline, his counterparts actually play far superior defense than the Capitals’ blue-liner, making their selections more warranted in my eyes.
If I had to pick, my guess is Drew Doughty. He was unbelievable to watch in Vancouver as a member of Team Canada in the Olympic Games, and has been even more sensational in the revitalization of the Los Angeles Kings this season. Of those three, I’d go 1)Doughty, 2)Keith, 3)Green. To round out the top five: 4)Pronger, 5)Lidstrom.