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Chara, Karlsson and Weber are your Norris Trophy finalists

Apr 26, 2012, 11:05 AM EDT

Chara Weber

A former winner, a former finalist and a first-time nominee comprise this year’s Norris Trophy candidate list.

Today, the NHL announced that Boston’s Zdeno Chara, Nashville’s Shea Weber and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson have been nominated for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the defensive player who demonstrates “the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Onto the finalists…

Chara

The 35-year-old Slovak won his first and only Norris back in 2009, becoming just the third blueliner not named Nicklas Lidstrom to win the award since 2001 (the others were Scott Niedermayer and Duncan Keith.)

Chara put together another stellar campaign this year, finishing fourth among all defensemen in scoring (12G-40A-52PTS) while finishing plus-33, the third-best rating in the league. He averaged 25 minutes per game and was the anchor of a Boston penalty kill that finished 11th in the NHL (83.5 percent).

Weber

This is the second straight year Weber’s been named a Norris Trophy finalist — last year, he narrowly lost to Lidstrom (727 voting points to Lidstrom’s 736) but also broke new ground by finishing 25th in Hart Trophy voting.

This season, he’s been equally good. Weber tied for the NHL lead in defensemen goals (19) and was the only blueliner in the league to hit double digits in power play goals, with 10. He also posted a career-best plus-21 rating and averaged over 26 minutes of ice time — the fifth-most in the NHL.

Karlsson

This is the first Norris nomination for the 21-year-old Swede. Karlsson’s scoring exploits took the NHL by storm this year as his 78 points finished 11th among all scorers — he finished the year with more points than the likes of Marian Hossa, Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, Martin St. Louis and Jarome Iginla.

His scoring exploits also put their mark in history. His 78 points were the second-highest total by a defenseman since the lockout — Nicklas Lidstrom had 80 in 2005-06 — and Karlsson also set Ottawa franchise records for goals, assists and points in a season by a defenseman.

PHT Related

Poll: Who will win the 2012 Norris Trophy?

  1. lsxphotog - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Weber. Or let them duke it out in a ladder match. My money is still on Weber. jk

  2. govtminion - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    The B’s fan in me says Chara of course, but it’s hard to argue with any of the three here. This one could be the closest of the trophy matchups.

  3. jkay1818 - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    is chara even good anymore or just basing it by name? have to be honest, i saw chara a lot this yr. Beaten to a ton of loose pucks, out skated on 50/50’s and turns it over a ton.
    I can reel off quite a few d-men i’d rather have right now.

  4. stoneegratz - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    This comes down to Webs and Karllson(The biggest beauty in the league)

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