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Suter reacts to first-time Norris nomination

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Just 24 hours after receiving bad news regarding the candidacy of rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin for the Calder Trophy, the Minnesota Wild got some good news about Ryan Suter and the Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's best defenseman.

Suter, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Kris Letang and the Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban, are the three finalists for the award, which is presented annually to the blueliner who "demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability" at the position, as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

"It's a huge honor for me. I feel very fortunate to be on that list," Suter said Tuesday. "It says a lot about our team and the guys I play with."

Suter has been a horse for the Wild in his first season in Minnesota after signing with the team as a free agent last summer.

He led the League during the regular season in time on ice, averaging 27:16 per game. He played in all 48 games, totaling four goals, 28 assists and a plus-2 rating. He exceeded 30 minutes in 10 games this season and is seen in the Wild room as playing a crucial role in the development of Brodin, his partner for much of the season, as one of the best young defensemen in the League, despite -- at age 19 -- being the youngest blueliner in the League.

"It's a shame he didn't get nominated for the Calder," Suter said of Brodin.

"Whenever you have a chance to coach a guy like Ryan, you know how good these guys are -- but you don't quite know just how good they are," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "When you have a chance to see the little things these guys do, things that don't necessarily show up on the score sheet, the things they do day in and day out, you just take that appreciation to a new level."

Suter's assists led the Wild and were second in the NHL among defensemen. His 32 points were third-best. His time on ice average set a single-season franchise record.

"I don't look at it individually," Suter said. "I couldn't have done it without a great team and great goaltending, just the whole package."

This is the first time Suter has been a finalist for the Norris Trophy. He finished eighth last season as a member of the Nashville Predators.

Shea Weber, his defensive partner for several seasons with the Predators, finished second in the voting last season.

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