BOSTON, MA - The NHL announced today that Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is one of three finalists for the 2010-11 James Norris Memorial Trophy. The Norris Trophy has been awarded annually since 1953 “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position.” The other finalists for the award are Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom and Nashville’s Shea Weber.
Charged with skating against the opposition’s top offensive line each game, Chara led the NHL this season with a plus/minus rating of plus-33, tying a career-high for the 34-year-old Slovakian. He also led the Bruins, the NHL’s third-best defensive team, in average time on ice with a mark of 25:26. He finished the season with 14-30=44 totals, and his 8 power play goals tied Michael Ryder for the most on the Bruins. Chara took a team-high 264 shots, and also chipped in 153 hits, 111 blocked shots and 32 takeaways in 81 games.
This is Chara’s fourth time being named a Norris Trophy finalist. He won the award in 2008-09 as a Bruin, and was a finalist in 2003-04 with Ottawa and 2007-08 with Boston.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. It will be the third straight year the NHL has held its award ceremony at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit) Lidstrom posted 16-46=62 totals this season, second among all NHL defensemen. The 40-year-old became the oldest defenseman in NHL history to register a 60-point season. Lidstrom has won the Norris Trophy six of the last nine seasons.
Shea Weber (Nashville) Weber had 16-32=48 totals this season, to go along with 211 hits, 113 blocked shots and 62 takeaways. This is his first Norris Trophy nomination. Weber has 78 goals since the start of the 2006-07 season, which is the most in the NHL by a defenseman over that stretch (tied with Washington’s Mike Green).