Blackhawks Confidential

And the 2010-2011 Norris goes to....



The posts at Blackhawks Confidential have been few and far in between as of late, kind of like the readers.  That being considered, it's probably not in my best professional interest (although typing at work behind my boss' back probably isn't either) to sit down and write another article about one of my favorite NHLer's, Dustin Byfuglien.  But this one is different.  The Big Buff Bandwagon has become too large.  Instead of pleading with people to hop on for the ride, today might just be the day I abandon ship...probably not, but I'll at least try. 

The LA Times, USAToday,, as well as even a Vancouver Canucks Blog have taken time these past few weeks to make it known that Dustin Byfuglien is their front runner for the Norris Trophy.

"Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is one of the NHL's best players in 2010 and is one of the top candidates for the Norris Trophy."

"Back on defense, Dustin Byfuglien is gaining Norris consideration."

These are just a few of the headlines/stories that are beginning to pop up all over the country.

At least ESPN is playing it safe, having Kris Letang, Lubomir Visnovsky, Nicklas Lidstrom, Tobias Enstrom, and Alexander Edler as it's Norris finalists thus far.

Writing about #33 is especially hard for me.  As I type my mindset waivers between rational hockey fan and Byfuglien's #1 fan.  I hate getting too high or too low because no matter where I end up there is always someone willing to passionately disagree with me. That's why I'm going to play it safe with this one.

Could Buff win the Norris? Ehh...I'm going to say no.  If Byfuglien was a legimate candidate for the Norris then Mike Green would already have at least two in his closet.  It's not all about the offense.

When you think of most Norris winners you get an exceptional defender with an aptitude to score.  Duncan Keith, Nik Lidstrom, etc. Guys whose defensive prowess is just as special to watch as Ovechkin's offense. 

I don't think Buff fits that profile.  He finds himself alongside Mike Green as an offensive juggernaut who's isn't a liability on D.  Does he deserve consideration? Sure.  But at the end of the day it will not be Big Buff taking home the hardware.

Considering his age and the season he's having I bet Lidstrom gets the award this year despite others who may be more qualified.

But that's enough trophy talk, let's take a look at tonight's rematch with the Avs.  Will Hossa play? Will Hejduk play? Will Turco start?  Who knows?  Does it matter? I don't think so.  Regardless of the excuses or scenarios the Hawks must win tonight, it's as simple as that. 

Will they? I guess we'll have to wait and see.  Enjoy the game!!!    



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blkhawk11 said:

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Great article, Paul and agree that Buff will not take home this piece of hardware, but love and miss the guy even though he was never considered a "superstar" status player while with the Hawks.

He definitely was instrumental at times during last year's post season victory to the cup and I am sure that his overall presence is missed at times in the dressing room as well as on the ice.

Both he and Ladd are producing very well for the Thrashers and is really a treat to see them accomplish so well on a far less talented club this year. I say good luck and continued success for both as well as Eager and Sopel.
Looking forward to Hawks game tonite and hopefully Crawford is the man between the posts to start and Hossa is back in the line up, Morin is still on board and Stalberg scores a few to bring about a victory before the hometown fans.

Andy-Kid said:


Biggest mistake the Blackhawks made this year: Getting rid of Big Buff. He was easily the MVP of the entire Stanley Cup run. Bar none. Toews can eat shit. That's right, I said it!

Tab said:


Byfuglien is Mike Green 2.0.... if you look at the secondary numbers (read: NOT SCORING), there isn't enough to support Byfuglien as a Norris candidate. Will he get an invite to the awards? If he scored 70 points you better believe that he will. But that doesn't mean he plays defense, and the awards' voters have always upheld that a DEFENSEman should win the award.

My opinion is that Lidstrom will not only EARN the Norris this year, but would get it as a lifetime achievement award before he retires this summer anyway.

And to Andy-Kid... if Byfuglien was the MVP of the ENTIRE Stanley Cup run, why was he inches from being benched against Nashville? He didn't show up until the middle of the Vancouver series, and only produced in two Finals games. Was he important? Yes. But can "Toews eat shit"? That's laughable.

Sorry if Triple Treat didn't refund your $250 on the Buff sweater, Andy, but Buff wasn't even in my top three most valuable Hawks from the postseason last year.

borg said:


No defensemen who doesn't kill penalties should be considered for the Norris. Not only does it show a lack of an important skill, it allows Byfuglien to rest during a time when most elite D-men are expelling energy.

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