NHL Awards: Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar named Norris Trophy finalist, obviously

The most obvious and expected happened on Monday morning: Cale Makar was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy.

Awarded the NHL’s top defenseman, the Colorado Avalanche blueliner was simply one of the best at his position all season, scoring like no-one else and scoring timely goals to propel his team into contention for the President’s Trophy .

Makar finished his regular season with 28 goals and 86 points in 77 games. While he may not have had the same number of points as some of his rivals, consider almost reaching the 30-goal mark — something that’s only happened once since 1993, when the Washington Capitals’ Mike Green scored 31 is above a variety of other statistical arguments. While he didn’t reach that milestone, Makar’s 28 still stands for the 24th-most goals scored by a blueliner in NHL history. That has to count for something, doesn’t it?

Competing for the award are two names that have become almost synonymous with Norris. Nashville Predators’ Roman Josi and Tampa Bay Lightning’s hulking defender Victor Hedman were named among the other finalists, and both certainly have their own reasons for picking up the honors.

While Makar scored, Josi racked up a whole boatload of points with 23 goals and 96 points in 80 games. That score is the 17th highest in NHL history by a defenseman, and no one has scored 90 points since 1992.

While the two offense-driven defensemen hit overseas milestones and slumped some numbers, Hedman was himself, scoring 85 points in 82 games and consistently having presence on one of the NHL’s best teams. Both Makar and Hedman have similar arguments – blueliners who have averaged over 25 minutes per game, scored more than a point per game and are very good, very good teams – so it all depends on what style the voters prefer I suppose.

It will be a tough one and another NHL prize that will be hotly contested and debated by fans.

The exact date and time of the award announcement is yet to be announced, but will be announced sometime during the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.