Chara, Keith, Weber named Norris finalists

 

The Sports Network

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Duncan Keith and Nashville Predators rearguard Shea Weber have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman.

Chara, who took home the award in 2009 and is a finalist for the sixth time, led a defensive corps which gave up the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference and second-fewest in the NHL with 177. The Slovakian Olympian ranked in the top 10 among defensemen in goals (17), power-play scores (10) and plus-minus (+25).

Keith bested all of his league counterparts by racking up 55 assists and finished second with 61 points, thanks to leading all players on the defending Stanley Cup champions in ice time at 24:38 per contest. The 2010 Norris winner also helped Chicago lead the NHL with 267 goals scored by becoming a factor at even strength, posting a plus-22, his highest since a plus-33 rating in 2008-09.

Weber set the pace among all blueliners by pumping home 23 goals this season, and set a Preds franchise record for defensemen by amassing 56 points to lead the club in scoring for the second straight season. His 12 power-play markers led the NHL, and placed fourth in overall TOI with almost 27 minutes per contest. He is a finalist for the third time, and was voted runner-up in both 2011 and 2012.

The winner will be announced in Las Vegas on June 24.

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