A sense of familiarity has developed for the Nashville Predators in regard to voting on the NHL’s top individual awards.
Thursday, defenseman Shea Weber was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy, which recognizes the defenseman with the “greatest all-around ability.” The other two finalists were Boston’s Zdeno Chara and Ottwa’s Erik Karlsson.
It was the second straight year Weber, Nashville’s captain, ranked among the top three in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Plus, it followed similar announcements for goalie Pekka Rinne, who was named a Vezina Trophy (best goalie) finalist on Wednesday and general manager David Poile, named a General Manager of the Year finalist on Tuesday. All three were finalists for those same awards in 2011.
Also last year, coach Barry Trotz was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award (top coach). This year’s finalists for that one will be released Monday.
Weber and Karlsson tied for the most goals by a defenseman with 19 each.
Weber finished with 49 points and was one of 10 players at the position to finish with a plus-minus rating of better than plus-20. His 10 power-play and two shorthanded goals both ranked first for defensemen.
Karlsson’s 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists) were the most — by a wide margin — by a blue liner this season. Five of his goals were game-winners.
Chara led the NHL with a plus-33 rating and finished with 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists), which was fourth among all defensemen.
This year’s NHL Awards Show will take place June 20 at Las Vegas.