The NHL has announced the finalists for the Norris Trophy, given annually to the defenceman “who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
Giordano, 35, set career-highs in assists (57) and points (78) this season, captaining the Flames to the best record in the Western Conference. His 78 points were also second among all defencemen this season. Giordano led the league with a plus-39 rating and scored four shorthanded goals, the most by any defenceman in 19 years. This is the first time he has been a finalist for the Norris, and if he wins he will be the first Flames player awarded the trophy.
Burns, 34, led all defenceman with a career-high 83 points and also registered a career-high 67 assists. He’s only the third defenceman in NHL history to lead his team in scoring in three consecutive seasons, and his 83 points were the most by a defenceman since Brian Leetch had 85 in 1995-96. He is also only the second blueliner ever to register his first season with at least 80 points after the age of 34. This is the third season Burns has been a finalist for the Norris, and he won the award in 2016-17.
Hedman, 28, is the reigning Norris winner and a finalist for the third consecutive season. If he wins, he will be the first to win the award in back-to-back seasons since Nick Lidstrom won three straight from 2005-06 to 2007-08. Hedman was the leader of a Lightning defence that allowed the fifth-fewest goals in the league and tied the NHL record with 62 wins. He led the Lightning in ice time for the sixth straight season (22:46) and also recorded more than 10 goals for the sixth consecutive year.
The Norris Trophy is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. All award winners will be announced on June 19 at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas.