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The 2010 Norris Trophy finalists

We have our finalists for the first of the NHL awards, which will be announced one award at a time over the next two weeks at Noon EST. Here are the Norris Trophy finalists, given to the NHL’s best defenseman who “demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position”. The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Mike Green, Washington Capitals - 75 GP, 19 G, 57 A, 76 Points, +39, 54 PIM

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings - 82 GP, 16 G, 43 A, 59 Points, +20, 54 PIM

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks - 82 GP, 14 G, 55 A, 69 Points, +21, 51 PIM

My pick: At the end of the regular season, I firmly believed this was Mike Green’s award to lose. His defensive liabilities have been overblown and this season I felt that he really started to balance out as a defenseman. He’ll always be an incredibly talented offensive player, and throughout the season it was tough to find a more complete defenseman in the NHL this past season.

It’s a good thing the award is voted on before the playoffs.

Drew Doughty has been nothing but impressive, and if he doesn’t win the award this year he’ll have plenty of Norris Trophies on his mantle in the coming years. He’s just 20 years old, but he’s becoming the most dynamic and exciting defenseman to watch in the NHL.

It’s also important to note that Nicklas Lidstrom was not a finalist after being on this list in 10 of the past 11 seasons.

The 2010 NHL Awards will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on June 23, 2010, on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.

The schedule for the award nomination announcements:

Monday, April 19 - Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)
Tuesday, April 20 - Frank J. Selke Trophy (top defensive forward)
Wednesday, April 21 - Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (skill/sportsmanship)
Thursday, April 22 - Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie)
Friday, April 23 - James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenseman)
Monday, April 26 - Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)
Tuesday, April 27 - NHL Foundation Player Award (contributions to charitable causes)
Wednesday, April 28 - Jack Adams Award (top head coach)
Thursday, April 29 - Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)