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Cale Makar a Norris Trophy finalist



Cale Makar
Jack Dempsey/AP

Cale Makar is a finalist for the Norris Trophy. In other news, water is still wet.

The three finalists were revealed this morning. They are: Makar, Roman Josi and Victor Hedman. The winner will be announced, the NHL says, either during the conference finals or the Stanley Cup finals.

I think Makar is going to win. Call it a hunch. The voting was done before the playoffs, by the way.

If not Makar, Josi will win. I think Makar deserves it more, because he scored the most goals of any defenseman and he had a plus-48. Josi was a plus-13 and scored five fewer goals while playing three more games than Makar.

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Playoff stats don’t count, but we’ve also seen why Makar is better than Josi in this postseason. Makar has seven points in three games. Josi has three.

Don’t get me wrong: Josi and Hedman are great players. But Makar was the best defenseman in the NHL this season. Full stop.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Bry Phillips

all hail 🥬

Thor's Hammer


Thor's Hammer

Makar also helped the Avs to the second best overall regular record. Clearly, his impact on the team’s success was superior to Yosi. 11 wins and 22 points better needs to be factored. This also would eliminate He-a-dman.

Any news on our starting goalie tonight?

Last edited 4 months ago by Thor's Hammer
Ari Gould

Makar definitely deserves it, but I wonder if politics might get in the way, in the sense that he is 23 years old and has many years in front of him (hopefully with us!) and Josi is older and might not have another year like he has had. Kinda like giving the Oscar for best actor to an older person who is excellent and has never won it, but might not deserve it as much as a younger actor

Thor's Hammer

Hey AD –

Is Newhook in the dog house? Is Jack in the dog house? What gives playing LOC? What is Cogliano’s status? Will MacD or Murray ever get in?

Why are the Avs in love with Girard?

Ari Gould

My guess is coach chose LOC over Newhook to replace Cogliano because of his speed and PK. Our team speed and forechecking are stellar, and LOC brings more to those than Newhook. I also wonder somewhat about Sammy G. Nice to watch, great skating skills, but hurts us with his size and lack of scoring.

Bob Neal

Seven great questions!

Luke Waggoner

Girard has been great in this series, other than one misplay that is a great play that he nails 99/100 times.

I have to think Newy has an injury of some kind, and JJ simply hasn’t played well enough to be in the top 6, and EJ has. EJ has been low-key great during this series thus far.

Yan Girard

Why are the Avs in love with Mackinnon, Rantanen, Landeskog, Kadri, Nichushkin, Burakovsky, Lekhonen, Newhook, Toews, Makar, Byram, EJ, JJ, Kuemper and Francouz? Did I forget someone?

Bob Neal

Hard to believe with Cale being such a phenomenal player and so much fun to watch. However, what I don’t understand is that the Norris trophy is supposed to be awarded to the “best all-around defensive player”. It seems like it always goes to the best offensive defensemen. Not knocking Cale since he is an solid defensive player (made to look even better because he plays with Mr. Toews) but I don’t think Cale having more points in this series than Josi makes him a better “all-around defensive player”. The award should be based on who plays better defense first… Read more »


Good observation, Bob. Yes, the Norris seems to favor the defenseman with the most points (I haven’t scanned the data to confirm), and you rightly raise the question of defensive vs. offensive play. It’s an interesting topic made more relevant by changes in the NHL over the last 15-20 years. Historically, defensemen played defense; they didn’t score goals. They were big, lumbering tough-guys who cleared the crease and blindly threw the puck around the boards. Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, and Erik Karlsson were anomolies. But times are changing. In our team’s history of puck-moving defensemen, Cale is top of the… Read more »

Bob Neal

A good analysis as I think the comparison of Cale to Lidstrom is a good one. Cale plays very smart defense and he is a generational player but I’ll always have an affinity for the large defenseman that can move and also clear the front of the net (e.g. Hedman).


I hate how the Norris has become a point race. It shouldn’t be like that at all. Voters are just lazy and don’t watch the games. Not saying Makar shouldn’t win it this year but Hedman has been robbed out of it so many times. Last year a poll to NHL Head Coaches had almost all of them pick Hedman, yet they give it to Adam Fox. What a joke. These awards are losing their credibility if this continues.

Adam Manter

I agree with Dater Cale should win the Norris. Cale’s stats are one thing, but the biggest difference between Makar and Josi is not on the stat sheet it is the eye test. I don’t believe there is a way that you could watch both play and come to the conclusion that Josi is the better player!

Last edited 4 months ago by Adam Manter
Mike Fisk

Josi can have the Norris trophy. Makar can take home the Conn Smythe.

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