Rangers Adam Fox gets the nod as Norris Trophy Finalist

By Anthony Scultore
Apr 29, 2021; New York, New York, USA; The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented to Adam Fox #23 of the New York Rangers prior to the game against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on April 29, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers sophomore defenseman Adam Fox has been announced as a Finalist for the Norris Trophy. He will be going up against the Lightning’s Victor Hedman and Avalanche’s Cale Makar.

Adam Fox a finalist for Norris Trophy

The NHL Press Release reads in part:

NEW YORK (June 9, 2021) – Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the 2020-21 James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be revealed during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.

Fox should win it…but

adam fox norris
Mar 30, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) celebrates his go ahead goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

What a season the 23 year-old from Jericho, LI had. Fox finished second overall in scoring for blue-liners with 47 points. His 42 assists were the most by an NHL defenseman and he was seventh for total ice time. Only Edmonton’s Tyson Barrie had more points playing on a team that boasts both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Winning the Norris Trophy would be special for Fox. If he were to be selected, he would be just the second defenseman to win it in his sophomore season with the great Bobby Orr being the only other one. However, if he were to win it, Fox would be the first ever to do so without his team qualifying for the playoffs.

In researching all winners starting in 1953-54, no Norris winner ever missed the playoffs. Starting with the Red Wings Red Kelly, not a single one earned the honor without his team in postseason action. Some may quibble that last year’s winner, Roman Josi was the first but the Nashville Predators were part of the Return-To-Play format. Even though they lost in the qualifying round, all points scored in those games were categorized as playoff stats.

Let’s hope this streak ends.

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