The 2010 Norris Trophy finalists

We have our finalists for the first of the NHL awards, which will be
announced one award at a time over the next two weeks at Noon EST.
Here are the Norris Trophy finalists, given to the NHL’s best
defenseman who “demonstrates throughout the season the greatest
all-round ability in the position”. The award is voted on by the
Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Mike Green, Washington Capitals 75 GP, 19 G, 57 A,
76 Points, +39, 54 PIM

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings 82 GP, 16 G, 43 A,
59 Points, +20, 54 PIM

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks 82 GP, 14 G, 55
A, 69 Points, +21, 51 PIM

My pick: At the end of the regular season, I firmly believed this was
Mike Green’s award to lose. His defensive liabilities have been
overblown and this season I felt that he really started to balance out
as a defenseman. He’ll always be an incredibly talented offensive
player, and throughout the season it was tough to find a more complete
defenseman in the NHL this past season.

It’s a good thing the award is voted on before the playoffs.

Drew
Doughty has been nothing but impressive, and if he doesn’t win the
award this year he’ll have plenty of Norris Trophies on his mantle in
the coming years. He’s just 20 years old, but he’s becoming the most
dynamic and exciting defenseman to watch in the NHL.

It’s also
important to note that Nicklas Lidstrom was not a finalist after being
on this list in 10 of the past 11 seasons.

The 2010 NHL Awards will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert
Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on June 23, 2010, on VERSUS in
the United States and CBC in Canada.

The schedule for the award nomination announcements:

Monday, April 19 – Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)
Tuesday,
April 20 – Frank J. Selke Trophy (top defensive forward)
Wednesday,
April 21 – Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (skill/sportsmanship)
Thursday,
April 22 – Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie)
Friday, April 23 –
James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenseman)
Monday, April 26 – Bill
Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)
Tuesday,
April 27 – NHL Foundation Player Award (contributions to charitable
causes)
Wednesday, April 28 – Jack Adams Award (top head coach)
Thursday,
April 29 – Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)

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    Sens to move AHL affiliate from Binghamton to Belleville

    MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 13:  Center Jason Spezza of the Binghamton Senators smiles before the start of the American Hockey League All Star Skills Competition on February 13, 2005 at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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    The Ottawa Senators announced today that they’ve purchased the AHL franchise in Binghamton, N.Y. and will move it to Belleville, Ont. for the start of the 2017-18 season.

    From the press release:

    The Ottawa Senators and the City of Belleville have also agreed on an eight-year agreement to welcome the newly minted Belleville Senators to the city.

    In order to properly accommodate a new professional AHL team, the City of Belleville will immediately undertake more than $18.5 million in important renovations to modernize Belleville’s Yardmen Arena and prepare it for professional hockey for the first time in the city’s history. 

    The Baby Sens have played in Binghamton since 2002, winning a Calder Cup in 2011. AHL officials are reportedly working to secure another franchise for the city for the 2017-18 season.

    Belleville to Ottawa is a mere 2.5-hour drive, according to Google. The Belleville Bulls were an OHL team that started playing in 1981 before moving to Hamilton in 2015.

    Seidenberg, without a contract, playing a key role for Team Europe

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 08:  Dennis Seidenberg #44 of the Boston Bruins skates against Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Four of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 8, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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    Dennis Seidenberg has been a key player for Team Europe at the World Cup, and he doesn’t even have an NHL contract.

    Seidenberg, 35, logged 23:30 in Europe’s 3-2 overtime upset of Sweden on Sunday. Only Roman Josi (29:00) played more for the winning side. Seidenberg even played more than his old Boston teammate, Zdeno Chara (22:26).

    “I’ve played quite a bit,” Seidenberg said earlier in the tournament, per the Associated Press. “People should know what I can do and can’t do by now, but nonetheless this is an important tournament for me.”

    A Stanley Cup champion in 2011, Seidenberg became an unrestricted free agent when he was bought out by the Bruins over the summer. At first, the decision shocked him, but the shock eventually passed. So far, he’s been holding out for a guaranteed contract, as opposed to a tryout.

    The Ottawa Senators are reportedly a potential landing spot.

    Seidenberg may not be a full-time, top-four defenseman anymore, but he should still be able to hold down a bottom-pairing role, with the ability to log top-four minutes if there’s an injury.

    He’ll get another good look from the scouts on Tuesday when Team Europe opens its best-of-three series with the heavy favorites from Canada. He’s not the only UFA blue-liner on his team, as 34-year-old Christian Ehrhoff is also playing a role, albeit a smaller one.

    Cashing in: Marchand inks eight-year, $49M extension in Boston

    Brad Marchand
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    This summer, we wondered what Brad Marchand’s next contract might look like.

    Now we know.

    Per Sportsnet, the Bruins have inked the talented, agitating winger to a hefty eight-year, $49 million contract extension — one that carries an average annual cap hit of $6.125 million per season.

    This news comes with Marchand heading into the final year of his current deal, a four-year, $18 million pact with a $4.5M AAV — so it’s a pretty nice pay bump.

    This extension will also make Marchand the club’s third highest-paid forward, behind David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron, and will keep him in the black and gold through 2025.

    Earlier reports suggested Marchand’s initial ask was for $49 million over seven years.

    That the B’s were willing to tack on an extra year of term wasn’t surprising, especially in light of what GM Don Sweeney told WEEI earlier this summer.

    “I’ve identified March as a core guy, and we want to continue down that path,” Sweeney said. “It always takes two sides to make a deal, and I would envision that he’d like to be part of this organization for what could be arguably his whole career.”

    Coming off a year in which he finished sixth in the NHL in goals, with 37, Marchand has only upped his value in recent weeks with a terrific effort for Team Canada at the World Cup.

    The 28-year-old has starred on a line alongside Bergeron and Sidney Crosby, sitting second on the team in scoring with three goals and five points through four games. He also sits second on the team in shots on goal, with 17.

    Though his reputation is somewhat checkered and his disciplinary rap sheet is a mile long, Marchand has done plenty in trying to shed that label. He’s morphed into one of the better snipers in the league, and his presence on the Canadian national team will only further help erase perceptions he’s primarily an agitator.

    This contract will help, too.

    After failing physical, Grabovski placed on IR

    New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers
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    Mikhail Grabovski won’t be suiting up for the Islanders anytime soon.

    Grabovski, absent from Isles camp after failing to pass his physical, has been placed on IR with an upper-body injury, a byproduct of concussion symptoms he’s suffered since last season.

    The 32-year-old hasn’t suited up since Mar. 15, when he returned from a 10-game absence to play 17 minutes in a shootout loss to Pittsburgh.

    At the time, the Isles were happy to have Grabovski back in the lineup, but the feeling was fleeting. Immediately after the Pittsburgh game, the club sent Grabovski back to New York for medical evaluation.

    He didn’t play another game that year, or in the club’s playoff run.

    In the midst of a four-year, $20 million deal — set to expire in 2018 — it’s possible Grabovski will be placed on LTIR, in order to give the club financial relief from his $5 million cap hit.

    The Isles are pretty tight to the cap ceiling with Grabovski on the books, approximately $2.5M under (per General Fanager).