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Norris Trophy ballot; Stamkos’ future with Lightning after season –

Here is the April 17 edition of the weekly mailbag, where we answer your questions asked on X. Send your questions to @drosennhl and @NHLdotcom and tag it with #OvertheBoards.

Where would you rank Roman Josi on your Norris Trophy ballot. It seems Quinn Hughes has it locked up (deservedly so), but it’s hard to argue Josi isn’t the best all-around defenseman in the League. — @ItsGovertime

We are running our end of season Trophy Tracker stories this week after our staff voted on the Hart Trophy, Norris Trophy, Calder Trophy, Vezina Trophy and Jack Adams Award last week. We don’t have an official vote, but we do Trophy Trackers at every quarter of the season. Josi, the Nashville Predators defenseman, was second on my ballot for the Norris behind Hughes.

Hughes, the Vancouver Canucks captain, has been the best defenseman in the NHL from start to finish. Not only did he lead the position with 74 assists and 91 points entering Tuesday, he was plus-39 in 80 games. I tend to disregard the plus/minus stat unless the number stands out on either side of it. Plus-39 stands out. It shows Hughes’ dominance when he’s on the ice. If it was plus-10 or so, sure, that would be good, but he plays nearly 25 minutes per game and the plus/minus stat inherently lends itself to randomness. He could be on the ice for a goal for or a goal against and be 100 feet away from the play, but plus-39 shows that he routinely is on the ice for positive results and his production shows that he’s the one driving those positive results. That’s why Hughes is No. 1 for me this season.

Josi, Nashville’s captain, is No. 2 for many of the same reasons, driving possession, leading the offense from the back end, creating without sacrificing his defending and doing it for nearly 25 minutes per game. He needs to have more of a shooting presence for the Predators because of how their offense is run and where they need the shots to come from to score consistently. Hughes can be more of a dasher and passer to create for the Canucks. It’s close, but Hughes has done it at a higher level for longer this season. Josi’s second-half surge (36 points, plus-15 in past 28 games) vaulted him into the running with Hughes, Cale Makar and, in my opinion, Josh Morrissey, Drew Doughty and Victor Hedman, but Hughes has been a relentless force all season.


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