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Makar Reacts to Winning Norris Trophy

Cale Makar became the first player in franchise history to win the Norris Trophy

by Sasha Kandrach @KandrachSasha / ColoradoAvalanche.com

All Hail Cale. 

Cale Makar is the 2021-22 James Norris Memorial Trophy winner, as announced on Tuesday night at the 2022 NHL Awards held in Tampa, Florida in between Games 3 and 4 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

"To be in consideration of that award, is an honor," Makar said. "Josi and Hedman are great players.

"I was excited," Makar continued. "It's awesome to have my parents here and spend that with them as well. I'll have to turn the page quickly here and get ready for tomorrow."

Tweet from @Avalanche: ALL HAIL CALE#GoAvsGo

The Norris Trophy is annually awarded "to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position," and is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, who submit ballots for the trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators were also named as finalists. 

"They push me so hard all year just to be the player that I've developed into all season," Makar said. "A lot of credit goes to them. It's awesome when you have great competition like that."

Makar became the first defenseman in Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history to win the Norris Trophy and became the fifth defenseman in NHL history to win the Norris Trophy within his first three regular seasons, following Adam Fox, Erik Karlsson, Denis Potvin and Bobby Orr (2x). 

Tweet from @Avalanche: While we await the announcement, here is every goal scored by Cale Makar this season.#NHLAwards #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/DNmRkmHajR

The 23-year-old Calgary native completed the 2021-22 regular season by leading NHL defensemen with 28 goals, becoming just the fifth defenseman in the past 30 years to reach that total. He posted 86 points (28G, 58A) through 77 games and ranked fifth among all NHLers in plus-minus (+48). Makar is a Norris finalist for the second consecutive season and is the fourth defenseman to be voted a finalist for an NHL Award in each of his first three seasons, having won the Calder Trophy in his rookie campaign of 2019-20. 

And while Makar's outstanding individual success and prolific production - as he asserted himself as the top defenseman in the NHL - is not to be understated, his humble demeanor and selfless attitude. He made sure to recognize his defensive partner Devon Toews who also recorded an impressive season. 

"For me, this goes back to a team award. This wouldn't be capable of doing without all of the great guys around me; my d-partner [Devon Toews] all year and all of the guys on the team. I feel like [Toews] definitely brought my game to another level. This one is definitely a team award as much as it is an individual award."

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