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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our picks for the Norris Trophy in 2019-20.
I don't think he gets enough credit for how good he is. Klingberg mustered up 112 points in 146 games over the last two years – 63 per 82 – on a shallow Dallas team that possessed few weapons beyond the big three. With Joe Pavelski and, to a lesser extent, Corey Perry joining the fray, the offense should be more potent. That means more opportunities to accumulate points.
Beyond the production, Klingberg is an elite play driver. His relative impact at 5v5 last season – in terms of driving CF%, GF%, and xGF% – was only rivalled by the likes of Mark Giordano, Thomas Chabot, Kris Letang and Jake Muzzin.
This guy is an absolute stud and I think the sky is the limit for him in 2019-20, especially if he gets a little more run with Miro Heiskanen as his partner.
I’ll be biased and take Victor Hedman.
It’s safe now to call him a perennial nominee, with one win already in his back pocket. Aside from the fact that the voters love his size, skating, and offensive skills, I think you’re likely to see a bunch of bad narratives emerge about him when the Lightning are good again in the regular season. And that'll help his candidacy when the time comes.
When I say “bad narratives,” I don’t mean negative. I mean bad. Bad as in, “After being knocked out early last year, look how determined Victor Hedman is out there to make sure that this is Tampa’s year!” It’s a bad narrative because a strong Hedman performance in 2019-20 has nothing to do with their playoff exit this past spring, and everything to do with the fact that the guy is just really good at hockey.
Combine the fact that the voters already seem to love him with narratives that will keep their pens and keyboards busy for a while, and I think taking Hedman as the favorite is a decently sound pick.
The captain of the Nashville Predators is a brilliant player that seems to have gone overlooked by those outside of the Nashville fanbases, drawn to players like P.K. Subban. There is no more Subban in Nashville...no more Weber, making Josi the go to player both at 5 on 5 and on the PP. Josi has averaged over 50 points a season over the past five years and this season we will see a massive spike in production.
As a runner up I'm going with Erik Karlsson. It took the dominant defenseman a couple of months to adapt to his new surroundings in San Jose and never completely regaining his scoring touch. Now that he has a new long term contract in place, I think we will see more of the old Karlsson once more.
Best defense pairing in the Central Division?
Best defense pairing in the Pacific Division?
Best defense pairing in the Metro Division?
Best defense pairing in the Atlantic Division?
Best 1-2 punch in the Pacific Division?
Best 1-2 punch in the Central Division?
Best 1-2 punch in the Metro Division?
Best 1-2 punch in the Atlantic Division?
Best forward duo in the Central Division?
Best forward duo in the Pacific Division?
Best forward duo in the Metro Division?
Best forward duo in the Atlantic Division?