Lidstrom, Stamkos pump up Hedman’s Norris credentials


Even Victor Hedman agrees: we saw the towering Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman at his “peak” during the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

It’s one thing for teammate Steven Stamkos to pump his tires, which he did by calling him “an absolute beast” and wagering that the Swede will be the next Norris Trophy winner.

(“No pressure,” Stamkos joked to the Tampa Bay Times.)

It’s another for an all-time great with no affiliation – aside from being a fellow countryman – to sing Hedman’s praises, as Nicklas Lidstrom also did to the Tampa Bay Times.

“I think he has those qualities to win it,” Lidstrom said. ” …It’ll be the next step in his career to play at a high level consistently.”

Let’s face it; to some extent, these awards can boil down to popularity contests.

Erik Karlsson seems to indicate that part of Hedman’s rise comes from increased awareness alone, as he believes Hedman “has always been there.”

If the past postseason really stands as the crescendo of Hedman’s career, then he’ll need to hold that note a little longer to get an individual trophy for his troubles.