As the names for the bigger NHL awards unfortunately begin to trickle out before they’re awarded on Saturday night, we already know who will be taking home some hardware. As far as the Norris Trophy is concerned, we’ve known since last weekend who was going to take home the award for the league’s top defenseman.
With a group of finalists that includes P.K. Subban, Ryan Suter, and Kris Letang, we all figured it would come down to one of the former two. And that’s just the case, as it looks like the Montreal Canadiens defenseman will be capping his breakout season with some hardware.
Suter was Mr. Everything for the Minnesota Wild, there’s no denying that. He logged more minutes than any other player, played at full strength, power play, and the penalty kill. He helped Jonas Brodin grow into his role as a defenseman as a rookie. He proved to be an outstanding addition. But make no mistake about it, Subban deserves the award.
Typically, the Norris comes down to which defenseman put up the most points, while providing decent defensive play. Subban did just that. He had 38 points in 42 games for the Habs, who captured the no. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Twenty six of those points came with the Canadiens on the power play.
There’s no doubt that Subban is one of the bigger weapons offensively from the blue line. But he also boasted some pretty impressive defensive metrics during the 2013 season as well. His Corsi per game was up close to plus-11, almost five points better than Suter. He was consistently matched up against the best competition, logging over 23 minutes of ice time per game.
The Canadiens signed Subban to a smaller two-year deal earlier this season, rather than locking him up long term. After a breakout season, which will likely be capped off with a Norris Trophy, they’re going to have to pay big this summer. He deserves it. This kid is turning into one of the best all around defensemen in the league and is absolutely deserving of this nod for the Norris Trophy.