It appears that East Conference bias has once again reared its head,, Wilderenss. According to Nick Kypreos of Sports Net,
Nothing confirmed as it appears Suter will won't make anything official till 2morrow but some on inside say he's leaned toward #Redwings
If Subban does with the Norris over Suter it shouldn't surprise anyone. It won't be because Subban is a better defensive player than Suter, it will because of points. Add the fact that there was no games between the two conferences this season, and you can see how it would be feasible that someone actually thought Subban was the better defender.
Subban led defensive players in goals with 11, for a total of 38 points. Suter only had 4 goals and a total of 32 points. If you look solely at the score sheet, it would appear that Subban is a better player than Suter.
Here is the main issue, especially this year. Some members of the PHWA couldn't be bothered to actually watch Suter play apparently. It's one more example for the long running list of why these awards and the PHWA is a joke.
Maybe some writers don't want to vote for someone they haven't seen play. The only problem with that? If you are voting for a league wide award, you should probably watch more than just the conference/team you write for. It's really not too much to ask you to DO YOUR JOB.
The PHWA is already in hot water with Wild fans for the erroneous snub of Jonas Brodin in the Calder Trophy nominations. Suter being passed over for the Norris trophy just adds more flames to the fire.
The fact that by far, most writers who released their ballots had Suter above Subban makes me wish that writers were forced to release their ballot to the public after the awards were given. It would be a great incentive for writers to pay attention to the league as a whole instead of just a few teams.
Let's be realistic for a moment though. This really shouldn't surprise anyone. As we all know, the Wild are the red-headed step children of the league. The Wild could have a season like the Blackhawks did this year, and if they won the Stanley Cup it would be seen as luck, instead of being the better team. Being a crappy team from the Western Conference for awhile will do that apparently.
The Norris Trophy as it stands is a joke. It continues to go to the player who puts up a high amount of goals/points. The trophy for best defenseman shouldn't be based on points. As a matter of fact, points shouldn't even really factor in.
A defenseman has one main job; Keep the puck from getting to their goalie. There are no real stats that can compute how a defenseman is doing that. Sure, the league has the +/- rating, but anyone who thinks that stat is actually worthwhile can show themselves out the door.
The only way to properly tell if a defender is doing his job is to watch him play, and watch him play more than one game. Does he cut off passes? Does he frequently take pucks away from the opposition? How many shots does the other team make while he is on the ice?
It has become obviously that the PHWA members, for the most part, are not going sit down and watch multiple games featuring teams they don't cover. The next best thing for them to do is change the award from best defenseman to best offensive defenseman, since the offensive output seems to be the only thing some writers care about.