In case you haven’t noticed, the NHL’s Award Show is taking place tonight on the CBC under a one-hour taped delay (again).
No Ottawa Senators players or members of the organization were expected to carry home any hardware, but one player, Erik Karlsson, did receive some significant votes in the balloting for the Norris Trophy – awarded to the player judged to be the best all-around defenceman in the league. (Note: Paul MacLean did not receive a Jack Adams Award vote and Bryan Murray did not receive one for GM of the Year. The man who dealt Bobby Ryan to the Senators in the summer, Bob Murray, took home that honour instead.)
Karlsson, garnered five, yes FIVE second-place votes of which, I can assume, did not come from Don Brennan.
Karlsson also received three third place nods, four fourth place votes and eight fifth place votes for a total of 70 points – good enough for the league’s seventh best ranking and placed him ahead of notable players like Ryan McDonagh, Victor Hedman, Mark Giordano and PK Subban. Not bad for a guy who had no confidence in his surgically repaired right Achilles tendon and could not perform at anywhere near the same level defensively as his 2011-12 Norris Trophy winning season.
Assuming that Karlsson can strengthen his body (and mind) to the point wherein he can trust himself to do the things he was capable of doing, this year’s balloting shows that people overlooked some glaring defensive problems this season. If he can revert to his previous form while maintaining his point production, he has the potential to be a perennial Norris Trophy candidate.
Niskanen Receives Second Place Vote?
In one of the worst uses of an NHL Award ballot, Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen received one second place Norris Trophy vote.