Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning were named finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy on Sunday. The award is given annually to the defenseman voted to have demonstrated the greatest all-around ability at the position throughout the season.
The winner will be announced at the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone at the Mandalay Bay Events Center sports and entertainment complex in Las Vegas on June 19.
Burns, 34, led NHL defenseman in assists (67), points (83), game-winning goals (six) and shots on goal (300). He set a Sharks record for defensemen with an NHL career-best nine-game point streak (three goals, 11 assists) from Oct. 9-30. He's the first defenseman in Sharks history to have at least 60 assists in a season and the second player at any position to hit the mark, joining forward Joe Thornton (seven times). Burns was second among NHL defensemen in shorthanded points (five) and was seventh in average ice time (25:06).
Giordano, 35, could become the fourth player age 35 or older to win the Norris Trophy since it was first awarded in 1954; Nicklas Lidstrom did it four times, Doug Harvey three times, and Al MacInnis once. Giordano finished second among defensemen in scoring with 74 points (17 goals, 57 assists), his NHL career high, and led the NHL with a plus-39 rating. He led Calgary in average time on ice (24:14 per game), had 21 power-play points, six shorthanded points (four goals), and was an even or plus-rated player in 58 of 78 games this season. Giordano, Calgary's captain since 2013-14, helped the Flames (50-25-7) finish first in the Western Conference and second in the NHL with a plus-66 goal differential.
Hedman, 28, won the Norris Trophy last season; this is his third consecutive season as a finalist. He led Lightning defensemen in goals (12), assists (42), points (54), game-winning goals (four) and overtime goals (two) in 70 games. He had an NHL career-high seven-game point streak (two goals, eight assists) from March 9-21 and scored at least 10 goals for a sixth straight season. Hedman, who is Tampa Bay's all-time leader among defensemen with 418 points (94 goals, 324 assists) in 696 NHL games, anchored a defense that led the NHL with a plus-98 goal differential.