With the retirement of Nick "Norris" Lidstrom, a.k.a. "Mr. Perfect", he takes with him numerous accolades earned throughout his distinguished career (four Stanley Cups, twelve All-Star Game nominations, one Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP and member of the Triple Gold Club (winner of the World Championship and Olympic Gold along with Lord Stanley's mug). More notably, his retirement ends an era in which he dominated the League as the National Hockey League's top "defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position", winning the James Norris Trophy SEVEN times during his career and six during the last decade (from 2000-03, 05-07 and in 2010), a feat only topped by Bobby Orr, whose career ended in the late 1970's.
With that said, the story must go on, the torch must be passed. What I'm interested in finding out is, who do you believe can become a perennial front-runner for the title of top defender, now that #5 has ridden off into the sunset, and what about him makes him the front-runner?
Will it be big bruisers, like the hulking Big Z, from Boston, Zdeno Chara? Or will it be '09 winner and Blackhawk and Team Canada linchpin Duncan Keith, with similar shutdown ability? What about Canuck fan favorite (and possible new Canuck? Just teasing ) Shea Weber? Will slick offensive dynamo and Nick's countryman Erik Karlsson, who has his first nomination, pick up the torch and run with it? Or will L.A. King Drew Doughty, who is experiencing his first Stanley Cup final, become one of the premier challengers for the glorious title of the NHL's top defender?
Who would your choice be and why?
EDIT: one pick please
Edited by MessiNacity10, 02 June 2012 - 12:52 AM.