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Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Trophy Tracker: Top Norris candidates

By Pierre LeBrun

This week, we take a look at the early candidates for the Norris Trophy, and we've got a few surprises here:

1. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

Where would the Penguins be without him so far this season, given all the big names who have missed time through injury on this club? He plays in all key situations and is gold at both ends of the ice.


2. Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs

No wonder Darryl Sutter got shown the door in Calgary last season. The Leafs’ trade with the Flames from a few years ago is looking like a total steal. Phaneuf has been a demon at all facets of the game and is a big reason for Toronto’s quick start in October.


3. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Let’s face it, it’s his trophy to lose this season. Ask most NHL GMs and they’ll tell you Weber is their top-ranked blueliner. But with five points in 11 games to start the season, he has another level to go.


4. Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks

Edler was only one point off the defenseman scoring lead as of Wednesday morning but brings so much more than that to the plate.



5. Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers

He plays against the top offensive line from the opposing team every night and still manages to produce offensively. Underrated as ever.


Honorable mentions: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa; Sheldon Souray, Dallas; Ryan Suter, Nashville; Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit; Duncan Keith, Chicago.