Dec 17, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT
While Brent Seabrook‘s career has been plenty decorated — Olympic gold, two Stanley Cups — the Chicago defenseman feels a big individual award could be in his future: The Norris Trophy.
“I feel like I can reach that point, but that’s for [the media] to decide,” Seabrook told the Chicago Tribune about being a candidate for the Norris, given annually to the league’s best defenseman.
“I’m just playing the game and trying to help the Blackhawks win.”
The 28-year-old is in the midst of a stellar campaign, racking up 23 points through 36 games — putting him on pace for a career-high 52 points. He sits fifth among NHL defensemen in scoring and is tied for first with a plus-18 rating, leading the Blackhawks in hits (90) while sitting second in blocked shots (61).
Great numbers to be sure, but there’s one big hurdle standing in the way of Seabrook’s potential Norris candidacy — his frequent defensive partner, Duncan Keith.
Keith is among the NHL’s elite blueliners, having captured the Norris in 2009-10 and finishing sixth in voting last season. This year, the 30-year-old is having another banner campaign, leading all NHL defensemen in assists (with 28) while ranking second in points, with 30, trailing leader Erik Karlsson by just one heading into Tuesday’s action.
Keith has high praise for Seabrook, explaining that, at least within the confines of Chicago’s room, No. 7 is recognized as a key cog to the team’s success.
“I know in the dressing room he gets the credit,” Keith said. “I don’t really know what gets said outside our room a whole lot, but he’s always been one of the key members of this team with winning two Stanley Cups.”
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