BOSTON, MA - The NHL announced today that Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is one of three finalists competing for the 2008-09 Norris Trophy, which is awarded "to the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.” Chara joins Mike Green from the Washington Capitals and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings as this year’s finalists. This is the second consecutive year Chara has been a finalist and third time in his career (2004 with Ottawa).
Chara anchored a Bruins blue line that allowed the lowest goals per game figure in the NHL this season (2.29). He led the Bruins and ranked sixth overall in the league in average ice time (26:04) and finished the regular season with a career-high 19 goals, 31 assists and a +23 rating. His 19 goals ranked fourth in the league amongst all defensemen, while his 11 power play strikes ranked third.
Chara’s average ice time (26:04), hits (169) and blocked shots (123) are the highest amongst the other two Norris finalists.
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 Thursday, June 18, during the 2009 NHL Awards show that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada
Mike Green, Washington Capitals A first-time Norris finalist, Green led all NHL defensemen in scoring with 73 points (31 goals, 42 assists) in 68 games and ranked second on the Capitals in plus-minus (+24). He set an NHL record for defensemen by scoring a goal in eight consecutive games from Jan. 27 to Feb. 14, breaking Mike O’Connell’s 25-year-old League mark; notched 18 power-play goals, one shy of the NHL record for defensemen; and became just the seventh NHL blueliner with a 30-goal season, the first since the Capitals' Kevin Hatcher in 1992-93.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings Lidstrom is a Norris Trophy finalist for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons. He has captured the award six times, including the past three years consecutively. Lidstrom ranked third among NHL defensemen in scoring with 59 points (16 goals, 43 assists) and tied a career high with 10 power-play goals. He led the Red Wings in average ice time per game (24:49) and was a 'plus' player for the 17th time in 17 NHL seasons, placing second on the club and seventh in the League overall with a +31 rating.
Norris Trophy History The Norris Trophy was presented to the National Hockey League in 1953-54 by the four children of the late James Norris, in memory of the former owner-president of the Detroit Red Wings.