Norris finalists to be announced FridayContinue reading.
Blackhawks’ Duncan Keith named one of three finalists for Norris Trophy
Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was named one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy, which honors the best all-around defenseman in the NHL. Keith won the award in 2010.
The other finalists are the Bruins’ Zdeno Chara and the Predators Shea Weber. Chara won the award in 2009. In the 60-year history of the award, 11 players have won it multiple times, led by Hall of Famer Bobby Orr’s eight.
“It’s a huge honor to be nominated for the Norris Trophy,” Keith said in a statement released by the Blackhawks. “I wouldn’t be nominated without having great teammates and a great defense partner in Brent Seabrook. It’s a special feeling to be up for this award.”
Keith, 30, had 61 points (six goals, 55 assists) in 79 games in the regular season — the sixth-highest point total among defenseman in the NHL this season and the second-highest total of his nine-year NHL career. Keith had 69 points (14 goals, 55 assists) in 2010.
Keith is one of four Blackhawks players to win the Norris Trophy. The others are Pierre Pilotte (1963, 1964, 1965), Doug Wilson (1982) and Chris Chelios (1993, 1996).
The winner of this year’s Norris Trophy — which is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association — will be announced at the NHL Awards Show on June 24 in Las Vegas.
Postseason play does not factor into the Norris Trophy, but Keith has continued his excellent play in the playoffs. He had seven points (two goals, five assists) and was a plus-5 in the Blackhawks’ 4-2 series victory over the St. Louis Blues, including a four-point game with a plus-3 in the Hawks’ 5-1 series clinching victory Sunday at the United Center. And according to coach Joel Quenneville, Keith was even better than the numbers indicate. Keith worked half the series with Seabrook and half with Sheldon Brookbank, who played while Seabrook served a three-game suspension.
“I’ve been around here six years with Duncs — that might have been the best game I’ve seen him play,” Quenneville said. “Not just looking at his point production — his quickness, his patience; he defended well; his gap. He did everything well. He killed penalties. So we’re very happy for him the way he played. It was a special night for him.”
Keith was particularly adept at keeping pucks in the zone, which he did twice on Hawks goals.
“He’s got a lot of Lidstrom in him,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said, referring to seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings. “Lidstrom did the same thing. You think you’re out and hen you’re all all right — you’re at center ice facing off [after a goal]. He’s good at that.”