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Avalanche blueliner Makar named Norris Trophy winner for 2021-22 season


Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche is the 2021-22 recipient of the James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Makar is the first Norris Trophy winner in franchise history, following top-three finishes by Rob Blake (3rd in 2001-02), Ray Bourque (2nd in 2000-01) and Sandis Ozolinsh (3rd in 1996-97). He previously captured won Calder Trophy in his rookie campaign of 2019-20 and finished second in Norris voting last season.

“For me, this goes back to a team award.” said Makar. “This wouldn’t be capable of doing without all of the great guys around me; my ‘D’ partner [Devon Toews] all year and all of the guys on the team. I feel like [Toews] definitely brought my game to another level. This one is definitely a team award as much as it is an individual award.”

Makar edged Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi by a razor-thin margin in voting points, 1,631-1,606, in the closest Norris Trophy vote since Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson shaded Nashville’s Shea Weber 1,069-1,057 in 2012Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the 2017-18 Norris winner, ranked third in balloting for the fourth consecutive year with 940 points.

Makar helped the Avalanche post a franchise-record 119 points by leading NHL defensemen with 28 goals, becoming just the fifth defenseman in the past 30 years to reach that total (Brent Burns, 29 in 2016-17; Mike Green, 31 in 2008-09; Al MacInnis, 28 in 1993-94; and Kevin Hatcher, 34 in 1992-93). He ranked second among blueliners in points (28-58—86) – the goal and point totals setting franchise marks for defensemen – and ranked fifth among all NHLers in plus-minus (+48).

“To be in consideration of that award, is an honor,” Makar said. “Josi and Hedman are great players. I was excited. It’s awesome to have my parents here and spend that with them as well. I’ll have to turn the page quickly here and get ready for tomorrow.”

Photo/Colorado Avalanche

(June 21, 2022)

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