Showing that at least some members of the PHWA used their brains when voting for NHL awards this season, Wild's very own Ryan Suter was announced as a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy this morning.
The news release from the Wild's PR department says:
Suter, 28 (1/21/85), recorded 32 points (4-28=32) including 15 power-play points (3-12=15), 24 penalty minutes (PIM) and a plus-2 rating in 48 games with Minnesota this season. He led the NHL in TOI/game at 27:16, ranked second in assists and third in scoring amongst defensemen. Suter ranked first on the Wild in assists and blocked shots, tied for second with seven multi-point games and fourth in scoring. His time on ice total set a new franchise record. Suter skated more than 30 minutes in 10 games this season and logged a season-high 32:54 of ice time in Minnesota's 3-1 win at Colorado on April 27 to help the Wild advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008. The Wild went 18-3-3 when he registered a point this season and were 15-1-1 when he skated to a plus-rating.
The other finalists are P.K. Subban from Montreal, and Kris Letang from the Penguins.
Honestly, if Suter doesn't win the Norris this season it will just be yet another nail in the coffin that shows what a joke some of these awards are. Even our current sworn enemies agree:
If Suter doesn't beat out Letang and Subban for the Norris, there is something seriously messed up with the system.
At many points this season, opposing teams have not been able to get any shots on net during his shift, even when they spent a decent amount of time in the Wild's zone (Hi Colorado Avalanche!). He has been the main reason that Jonathan Toews has been left off the score sheet in this playoff series. There is no question that without Suter, the Wild wouldn't be in the playoffs this season.
As Bryan said on Twitter, we can put our pitchforks away for now Wilderness. And make sure to relieve all the awesomeness that is this infograph on why Suter deserves to win.