Erik Karlsson deserves the Norris Trophy

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The Norris Trophy is one of the most prestigious individual awards in the NHL. Greats like Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, Ray Bourque and Niklas Lidstrom have held the award.

The Norris Trophy is awarded to the best defenseman of the season, and in the 2014-15 season there are three major stand outs.

Two of the three contenders are previous winners in, P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators.

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The other man in the race has been one of the top defenseman in the NHL in recent years, Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It has been a long time coming for Letang and this may be his year to win the Norris.

The Contenders

P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens

P.K. Subban won the Norris Trophy in 2013 and has been in the race for it ever since. The assistant captain for the Montreal Canadiens has had a great year putting up 60 points in 81 games for the habs.

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Subban has helped lead the Canadiens to first place in the Atlantic Division and hopes to help them make a deep run in the playoffs. He wasn't selected for the All-star team which shocked many people, that could be one of the few things going against him.

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

Karlsson won the Norris Trophy the year before Subban in 2012. He is the captain of an Ottawa team that has been a pleasant surprise, finishing the season strong and currently finding themselves in a playoff spot when few thought it was possible, a big part of that success has been Erik Karlsson who leads all rookies in points with 66 in 81 games, impressive to say the least.

Karlsson also had no part in the All-Star game while teammate, again shocking. Ottawa teammate, Kyle Turris gave his thoughts on whether or not Karlsson should be in consideration for the Norris,

"One-hundred percent. Without a doubt, I don't know how people can't have him in that conversation. He plays great defensively, he's second to none offensively," Karlsson explained.

"The impact he has on a game is more than anybody else in the league at any position. If anybody has seen any of our games it's obvious he's the most electrifying player out there. In my opinion, he should win the Norris."

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

Letang has never won the Norris Trophy and that could play to his advantage with this year's voters wanting a fresh face to win it and a deserving face none the less.

The Pittsburgh Penguins haven't been pretty as of late but Letang has been outstanding in his shortened season individually. Letang has 54 points in just 69 games, an incredible stat line that he has achieved so many times in the past but has often been overlooked.

Maybe his impact has been overshadowed by the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Regardless, Letang is and has been one of the top defenseman in the league for a good while and he deserves consideration.

Just Missed The Cut

Drew Doughty would have been in the conversation but after finding out the Kings will miss the playoffs, it will be a surprise if Doughty is voted as the winner.

Roman Josi is the dark horse, he has been a great defenseman for the Predators this season but has flown under the radar and doesn't have a great chance of taking home the trophy.

The Verdict: Erik Karlsson

First off he is the captain of his team who are currently in a playoff position, secondly he is leading all defenseman in points and is simply one of the most exciting defenseman to watch every night.

His leadership could take the Senators to amazing heights, maybe not this year but potentially in the future. The critics will say what they want about Karlsson but they can't dismiss his talent.

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Pittsburgh Penguins
Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators
Evgeni Malkin
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators

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