October 30, 2014
LAS VEGAS — Duncan Keith became the 12th player to win the Norris Trophy for a second time on Tuesday night, named the top defenseman in the NHL by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
And while he might have a way to go to catch Bobby Orr (eight Norrises), Doug Harvey and Nicklas Lidstrom (seven each), he’s working his way into the same historic conversation. Because the other 11 multiple-time winners are all Hall of Famers.
“I’ve still got a few more to win before you can put me with those guys,” Keith said sheepishly shortly after winning the award at the Encore Theater in Las Vegas. “Those guys to me are my idols, and in my mind I don’t ever view myself as those type of guys.”
He’s getting there, though. When Keith won the Norris for the first time in 2010, he remembered gazing at some of the great names on the trophy — guys like Rob Blake, Al MacInnis and Scott Niedermayer — who never won a second time.
“Obviously, [some] really good players who only won it once,” Keith said. “It’s not an easy trophy to win.”
The Norris was the most hotly debated of the awards, with a slew of elite defensemen in the running. But it turned out to be a blowout, as Keith garnered 68 of 137 first-place votes for a total of 1,033 points. Boston’s Zdeno Chara was second at 667 points (21 first-place votes), and Nashville’s Shea Weber was third at 638 (26).
Keith led all defensemen with 55 assists, and his 61 points were second-best. The workhorse led the Blackhawks in ice time for the ninth straight season, with an average of 24:38.
Keith thanked just about everyone in the Hawks organization, but talked at length about his “best friend” and defensive partner Brent Seabrook, who was 17th in the voting with one fifth-place vote.
“Everyone bugs us that we’re an old married couple,” Keith said. “But we get along great off the ice, we hang out together everywhere — whether it’s dinners, driving to the rink, driving to the airport. On top of just being good friends off the ice, on the ice he’s a great player. He arguably could be a Norris candidate every year himself. So I don’t think you win these awards without having a good defense partner. Even past winners, who their defense partner’s been, it’s always been a good player. I think like I said, Brent’s been a huge part of my success throughout my career, and obviously me winning these two trophies.”
Jonathan Toews was unable to repeat as the Selke Trophy winner as the best defensive forward. Boston’s Patrice Bergeron won it handily, with Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar second. Toews was third, while his linemate, Marian Hossa, was a career-best fifth. Hossa, who was 10th last year, was the highest-placing winger for an award that has become center-dominated.
Toews missed out on the Mark Messier Leadership Award to Kings captain Dustin Brown, while Keith lost out the NHL Foundation Award to Bergeron. The Keith Relief Foundation raises money to help families dealing with medical crises.
While Keith would love a third Norris to join Pierre Pilote, Denis Potvin and Paul Coffey, he especially hopes to be up for that one again next season.
“Well, I’m going to try,” Keith said. “I’m going to keep trying to do good things and try to raise money and help people. It’s probably the most important award at the end of the day, to be able to help those people that need the help and I feel fortunate to be in a position to be able to do that type of thing.”
In other major awards, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby won the Hart Trophy as the league MVP, Boston’s Tuukka Rask won the Vezina as the top goaltender, Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon won the Calder as the top rookie, and Colorado’s Patrick Roy won the Jack Adams as the top coach. Joel Quenneville was ninth for the Adams, and Stan Bowman was fourth in the GM of the Year voting, which was won by Anaheim’s Bob Murray.