Suter, Subban strong contenders for Norris Trophy

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (11) and defenseman Ryan Suter (20) prepare for a puck drop...

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (11) and defenseman Ryan Suter (20) prepare for a puck drop during the third period of their NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in St. Paul, Minnesota January 19, 2013. Minnesota Wild won the game 4-2. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:35 PM ET

With the NHL season reaching its final stretch, the contenders for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman are closely bunched. The default position in assessing the field for the last 15 years or so was always, “So, Nik Lidstrom and anybody else got a chance?” With the Detroit Red Wings blueliner retired, the competition for this year’s trophy is rife with new contenders entering the fray, which makes it interesting. Here are my top five picks for the Norris Trophy this season:

1. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild. He leads NHL players in ice time (average of 27 minutes and 11 seconds a game) and is second in defenceman scoring. For everybody wondering how he would do out of former partner Shea Weber’s shadow in Nashville, here’s your answer. I remember one pro scout, assessing the Weber-Suter combo and telling me: “(Suter) is the brains of the operation.” He could be more physical: he ranks 130th among defencemen with 31 hits.


Videos

Photos