Hockey Correspondent and Comedic Shakespeare Character, White Cover Magazine
1. Shea Weber — Nashville Predators
It’s very simple. With Lidstrom gone, Shea Weber is the best defenceman in the league. And, now that his slightly (but, only slightly) overrated partner Ryan Suter is in Minnesota and the Predators are still strong enough to make the playoffs and maybe even a run, no voter will have any excuse to give the award to anybody but Mr. Weber.
2. Zdeno Chara — Boston Bruins
He’s such a boring trip, but almost nobody plays even strength, the powerplay, and the penalty kill as strong and with such consistency as Chara. He’s an annual nomination by default. The new Lidstrom, and it’s deserved.
3. Alex Pietrangelo — St. Louis Blues
For some reason, Petrol was never recognized for his fine season in 2012. The Blues eclipsed everyone’s hopes and probably should have finished in the regular season, and it was all due to Pietrangelo’s play at both ends of the rink. If he can keep his offensive production at a steady clip, there should be nothing stopping the voters from correcting their mistake from 12 months ago.
4. Kris Letang — Pittsburgh Penguins
Simply put, nobody thrills like Letang, and he plays on the most dynamic team in hockey. I have him ranked fourth, and now I’m not sure why. Letang could run away with the Norris in a 48-game season.
5. Erik Karlsson — Ottawa Senators
He’s the defending champion. I’d like to be more original, but I’m not sure Karlsson deserves to be left off this list.