NEW YORK - Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks, Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2018-19 James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position," the National Hockey League announced today.
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 revealed Wednesday, June 19, during the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Burns topped NHL defensemen and established career highs with 67 assists and 83 points in 82 games (16-67-83) to help the Sharks qualify for the playoffs for the 14th time in the past 15 seasons. Burns - whose 83 points were the most by a blueliner since 1995-96 (Brian Leetch: 15-70-85 w/ NYR) - became the third defenseman in League history to lead his team in points for three consecutive seasons, joining current teammate Erik Karlsson (2013-14 to 2017-18 w/ OTT) as well as Denis Potvin (1974-75 to 1967-77 w/ NYI). He also became the second blueliner in NHL history to register his first 80-point season at age 34 or older, following Nicklas Lidstrom (2005-06 w/ DET). Burns - who ranked fifth in the NHL in time on ice (2,058:08) - added to his illustrious campaign with his 14th career overtime goal March 30, surpassing Scott Niedermayer for the most by a defenseman in League history. The Barrie, Ont., native is a Norris Trophy finalist for the third time; he won the award in 2016-17 and finished third in voting in 2015-16.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
Giordano enjoyed his most prolific campaign at age 35, posting career highs of 57 assists and 74 points in 78 games (17-57-74) to rank second among League defensemen in scoring and guide the Flames to their second-best regular season in franchise history. The Calgary captain topped all NHL skaters (defensemen and forwards) with a +39 rating, the best such mark by a Flames player since 1990-91 (Theo Fleury: +48, Al MacInnis: +42). Giordano also paced all blueliners and shared fourth place in the entire League with a career-high four shorthanded goals, the most by any defenseman since 1999-00 (Lidstrom: 4 w/ DET). The Toronto native and first-time Norris Trophy finalist is vying to become the first player in Flames history to capture the award; MacInnis finished second in voting in both 1989-90 and 1990-91, as did Dion Phaneuf in 2007-08.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
The reigning Norris Trophy winner registered 12-42-54 in 70 games as the anchor of a Lightning defense that allowed the fifth-fewest goals in the League en route to tying the NHL record for wins in one season. Hedman topped Tampa Bay blueliners in average time on ice for the sixth consecutive season (22:46) while logging a +24 rating, tied for ninth among all League defensemen. He also scored 10-plus goals for the sixth straight year, tied for the longest such streak among NHL blueliners (w/ Burns, Giordano, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Roman Josi). The 28-year-old Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native is a Norris Trophy finalist for the third consecutive season; he is seeking to become the first back-to-back winner of the award since Lidstrom earned three straight from 2005-06 to 2007-08 (w/ DET).
The James Norris Memorial Trophy was presented in 1953 by the four children of the late James Norris in memory of the former owner-president of the Detroit Red Wings.
The three finalists for NHL Trophies are being announced by NBC Sports in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA Sports in Canada during pregame programming for the Stanley Cup Playoffs through Sunday, April 28. The series of announcements continues Tuesday, April 23, when the three finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.
2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone
The NHL Awards™ returns to Las Vegas this summer at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone will be held Wednesday, June 19, at Mandalay Bay Events Center. It marks the first year that the NHL Awards™ will be held at the resort's sports and entertainment venue as well as the first time that Bridgestone will serve as the presenting sponsor of the event. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone live in the United States and Canada, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Tickets to the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone are on sale to the general public at www.nhl.com/awardstickets. This ticket opportunity is available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
This will be the 11th year of a successful partnership between Las Vegas and the League and the 10th time that the NHL will honor the best hockey players in the world and the top performances of the season in Las Vegas. Prior Las Vegas venues that have hosted the NHL Awards™ include Palms Hotel (2009-11); Encore at Wynn Las Vegas (2012 and 2014); MGM Grand Garden Arena (2015); The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (2016 and 2018); and T Mobile Arena (2017).
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment will be announced at a future date. Fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.