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Phaneuf a finalist for top defenceman

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames
NEW YORK -- Calgary defenceman Dion Phaneuf is among this year's Norris Trophy finalists, the NHL announced today.


Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and Phaneuf  are the three finalists for the Norris Trophy in 2007-08, awarded "to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position."

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 announced as finalists.

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The winner will be announced Thursday, June 12 during the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special, which will be broadcast live throughout Canada on CBC and the United States on VERSUS from the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto.

Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy:

Dion Phaneuf, Calgary Flames

The 23-year-old Phaneuf, who finished third behind Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby in 2006 Calder Trophy voting as the League's top rookie, is a first-time Norris finalist. Along with leading Flames defensemen in scoring with a career-high 60 points (17 goals, 43 assists) in 82 games, Phaneuf led the Flames in average ice time per game (26:25) and hits (194). He also ranked second on the club in shots (263) and third in power-play goals (10).

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

Chara, who as a member of the Ottawa Senators finished second to New Jersey’s Scott Niedermayer in 2004, ranked third among NHL players in average ice time per game (26:50) and set career highs for goals (17), assists (34) and points (51) in a season. He led the Bruins and ranked eighth in the League with 223 hits and improved his plus-minus rating from -21 in 2006-07 to a team-high +14 this season.

Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

    Lidstrom, who has won the award five times, earned his ninth Norris nomination in the past 10 seasons. The Norris winner 2001 through 2003, plus 2006 and 2007, Lidstrom helped the Red Wings post the NHL's best defensive record in 2007-08 -- a League-low 2.16 goals per game. In 76 games, Lidstrom led all NHL defensemen in scoring with 70 points (10 goals, 60 assists), ranked second in the NHL to teammate Pavel Datsyuk in plus-minus (+40) and was fourth among all players in average ice time per game (26:43).

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