Norris Trophy – Nick Leddy
This did not age well. Nick Leddy for the Norris Trophy? Or even in the conversation for a Norris? In 2017-18? Wow.
I know, it’s not great. But to be fair to myself I wrote this in October 2017. When Nick Leddy wasn’t the defensive pariah he’s been this season. This was before a -42 season.
In 2016-17 Leddy had 46 points and looked like he was ready to take the next step in his career. He had/has all of the tools. He can score and put up points, he has an otherworldly skating ability, and he could defend. I still think he can defend, but he hasn’t exactly helped me show that this season.
If he could put all of that together in 2017-18 getting into the Norris conversation seemed possible. Dough Weight seemed to agree when speaking to Newsday in November:
"“Three days ago, I read the top 12 Norris Trophy candidates for the first quarter of the season and his name wasn’t on it,” Weight said. “He should be right at the top of the list as far as I’m concerned. I don’t get to coach everybody else but he’s been awesome for us all over the ice.”"
At that point, it looked like Leddy could make a run for the Norris. In November, two months into the season Leddy had 20 points and a +2 rating and was second in defensemen for scoring.
By April his points total would increase to 42 and he’d finish tied for 23rd in points. But what stands out from Leddy’s season is how that +2 turned into a -42. That’s tied for the fifth worst +/- in team history. The only four worse were players from the Isles expansion 1972-73 team.
Obviously, no Norris for you, Leddy.