TAMPA — Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman was named a Norris Trophy finalist for the fifth consecutive season Wednesday morning.
The Professional Hockey Writers Association also nominated Cale Makar of the Avalanche and Adam Fox of the Rangers for the award, which goes “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position.”
Hedman, 30, placed third in points among blue line skaters (45) and tied for fifth in assists (36) and seventh in goals (nine) through 54 regular-season games.
Hedman won once (2017-18) and placed third in voting the other three years (2016-17, 2018-19 and 2019-20). The last time such a streak was achieved came courtesy of Nicklas Lidstrom from 1997-98 through 2002-03 (six seasons). The Hall of Fame defenseman, who skated with Detroit for 20 years, won the Norris seven times in his career.
Voting for the Norris Trophy is done at the end of the regular season, so playoff production (or lack thereof) doesn’t factor in much.
Fox, playing in his second NHL season at 23 years old, did not reach the postseason; New York finished fifth in the East Division with 60 points behind the fourth-place Islanders (71 points).
In 55 games, Fox finished first among defensemen in assists (42), second in points (47), second in power-play assists (21), third in takeaways (38) and third in power-play points (23). His most impressive run was a 12-game streak starting in mid March in which he notched 22 points (three goals, 19 assists).
After winning the Calder Memorial Trophy last year (given “to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League,” as voted by the PHWA), Makar finished sixth among defenseman in points (8-36—44) even though he missed 12 games (21.4 percent of the regular season).
Makar, 22, would be the first Norris Trophy winner in Avalanche/Nordiques history. Regardless, he’s made an impact as the fourth player from the franchise named a finalist (Rob Blake, third in 2001-02; Ray Bourque, second in 2000-01; and Sandis Ozolinsh, third in 1996-97).
Winners of the 2021 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Stanley Cup semifinals and final.
Hedman isn’t the only Lightning player in the running for extra hardware this year. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy (along with Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury and Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer) on June 1. Vasilevskiy won in 2018-19 and finished third in voting two other times (2017-18 and 2019-20).
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