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Lightning’s Victor Hedman a Norris Trophy finalist again

He is the reigning winner of the award given to the league’s top defenseman.

Defending Norris Trophy winner Victory Hedman is a finalist again for the award given to the league’s top defenseman, the NHL announced Sunday.

Joining the Lightning star in the final three are the Sharks’ Brent Burns and the Flames’ Mark Giordano.

Hedman, a finalist for the third time, anchored a unit that allowed the fifth-fewest goals in the league. He led Lightning defensemen in average ice time at 22:46 and was plus-24, tied for ninth among league defensemen. He also scored 10-plus goals for the sixth straight year (12 goals, 54 points). Hedman is seeking to become the first back-to-back Norris winner since the Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom won three straight from 2006-08.

Burns topped NHL defensemen with 67 assists and 83 points. Hie 83 points led the Sharks and were the most by a defensemen since 1995-96 (the Rangers’ Brian Leetch 85 points). He is a Norris finalist for the third time; he won in 2017.

Giordano, a first-time finalist, led the league with his plus-39 rating and was second among defensemen in scoring with 74 points.

The winner, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, will be announced at the NHL Awards on June 19 in Las Vegas.