Subban officially wins Norris Trophy

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This news originally leaked on Monday, but now it’s official: Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban won the 2013 Norris Trophy, edging out Ryan Suter and Kris Letang. This makes him the first Habs blueliner to take the award since Chris Chelios did it in 1989.

That’s not bad for a guy whose season didn’t start until Feb. 2 because of a prolonged contract dispute. The 23-year-old tied Letang for the points lead among defensemen, notching 38 in 42 games. (That also ties a career-high mark he set in 77 games during the 2010-11 campaign).

Subban’s defensive play improved, as he set a career-best +12 mark and served as a go-to guy (along with Andrei Markov) on a Habs team that shocked many to win the Northeast Division and East’s second seed. Despite a first-round loss to Ottawa, Subban scored four points in five postseason games.

With the glaring exception of Nicklas Lidstrom (2011), the Norris has been going to younger blueliners lately, as Duncan Keith (2010), Erik Karlsson (2012) and now Subban have claimed the prize.

With the win, Subban becomes the first Habs defenseman to win the award since Chris Chelios, and will join Hockey Hall of Famers Larry Robinson, Jacques Laperriere, Tom Johnson and Doug Harvey as Montreal defensemen to win the award.

Norris Trophy Top 10 voting

1. P.K. Subban, MTL 1266 (66-56-35-12-3)

2. Ryan Suter, MIN 1230 (65-54-34-8-8)

3. Kris Letang, PIT 914 (31-37-42-39-18)

4. Francois Beauchemin, ANA 290 (1-6-20-33-39)

5. Zdeno Chara, BOS 289 (10-9-16-8-22)

6. Duncan Keith, CHI 281 (1-8-16-36-27)

7. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, PHX 79 (3-1-2-8-8)

8. Shea Weber, NSH 49 (0-1-4-5-7)

9. Drew Doughty, L.A. 43 (0-1-2-7-5)

10. Niklas Kronwall, DET 33 (0-2-1-3-5)

Caps re-sign Christian Djoos, who could get his NHL shot next season

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The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Christian Djoos to a two-year, $1.3 million contract.

It’s a two-way deal in 2017-18, and a one-way deal the following season.

Djoos, 22, is expected to push for an NHL spot next season, along with Madison Bowey and possibly Tyler Lewington.

That’s because Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk, both unrestricted free agents, aren’t expected to re-sign with Washington.

On top of that, the Caps lost d-man Nate Schmidt in yesterday’s expansion draft.

Djoos, a seventh-round pick in 2012, had 13 goals and 45 assists in 66 games for AHL Hershey this past season.

It was his second full season in the AHL.

Bettman says NHL will call more slashes next season

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Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL will look to enforce slashing penalties more next season.

Following the league’s board of governors meeting, Bettman said pointless slashes to players’ hands will be called more. Ottawa’s Marc Methot and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau were among the players to miss time last season with hand injuries from slashes.

Related PHT coverage:

Gaudreau (finger) out six weeks, Treliving says Staal slash the culprit

— Flames made ‘mountain out of a molehill’ over Gaudreau slash

— Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby slash

— Melnyk blasts ‘whiner’ Crosby, who won’t face hearing for Methot slash

Report: Vegas sends Trevor van Riemsdyk to Hurricanes

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Here. We. Go.

According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, the Vegas Golden Knights have sent defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Van Riemsdyk was among 15 defensemen taken by the Golden Knights in Wednesday’s expansion draft, however, general manager George McPhee made a point of saying that, as a result of having this sudden surplus at the position, he was going to have to move some of those blue liners.

McPhee has been busy over the past few days, making deals with a number of teams ahead making his expansion selections, stockpiling draft picks, including three in the top 15 of the first round.

More to come.

Stars add Barnes and Wilson to Hitch’s staff, retain Fraser

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Dallas filled out Ken Hitchcock’s coaching staff on Thursday, with a host of familiar faces.

Hitchcock’s longtime assistant, Rick Wilson, has come aboard, as has former Stars forward Stu Barnes. In announcing those hires, GM Jim Nill also revealed the club would retain the services of assistant Curt Fraser, who has been with the club since 2012.

“The three have a unique familiarity with the club from the time they spent here,” Nill said in a release. “We’re excited for the wealth of knowledge and experience they will add to our coaching staff.”

Wilson, 66, worked with Hitch in Dallas from 1995-2002 and, together, captured the Stanley Cup in ’99. He also worked with Hitchcock in St. Louis over the last few years.

Barnes, 46, finished his 17-year NHL career in Dallas, then quickly transitioned to the coaching side of things in 2009, spending two years as a Stars assistant under Marc Crawford.