Monday, April 25, 2011
Chara vs. Lidstrom for Norris Trophy?
ESPN.com news services
Boston's Zdeno Chara, Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Nashville's Shea Weber were named finalists Monday for the Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded to the league's best defenseman.
Chara won the award in 2009 and is a finalist for the third time in the past four seasons. The Bruins captain led the league with a plus-33 rating and recorded 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists).
"It's always a big honor and I'm very humbled," Chara said. "I'm very thankfully, obviously, especially after how many guys had great seasons."
Chara's coach, Claude Julien, said the defenseman is worthy.
"He plays a lot of minutes and always plays against other teams' top lines," he said. "He's utilized as a shut down [defenseman] against best players of other teams. You look at his stats at the end of the year and he's a plus-33 and that speaks for itself."
Lidstrom is a six-time Norris winner and an 11-time finalist. In one of the most productive seasons of his career, he had 62 points (16 goals, 46 assists) and led the Red Wings in ice time at age 40, averaging 23 minutes, 28 seconds per game.
Weber is a Norris finalist for the first time in his career. He topped all Nashville defensemen with 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists), appeared in all 82 regular-season games and played the third most minutes in the NHL.
The winner will be announced June 22 during the 2011 NHL awards ceremony in Las Vegas.
ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald contributed to this report.