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12-11-2011, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Lidstrom was recognized and honored accordingly based on his performance in his early career. Contrary to what some believe, he did not spring from the womb as a fully-formed Norris contender.
Rob Blake was given the Norris ahead of Lidstrom in a situation where voters were basically looking for "anyone but Lidstrom" to give it to. Blake was much worse defensively, and not as productive offensively. The only things he did better were hit and score goals.

As for the "spring from the womb" comment...

Lidstrom was 8th in postseason AS voting in his rookie year. He didn't receive a Norris vote, but that still makes him one third place vote behind Al MacInnis that season. Lidstrom's Norris voting record early in his career has lagged beneath what he earned because of the early 90s anti-Euro bias. Lidstrom likely wins the 98 Norris and possibly one or both of 99 and 2000 if there were less "Damn Euros are taking are game" and more "I love hockey, hockey is great!" Not calling anyone or their suit out, but they should know who they are.

Ironically, Lidstrom also suffered from being (post 97) the core of a great team. There was such a feeling about the Wings having "so many good players" that it was as if you could plug in any old 15-point 3rd pairing defenseman and make him a Norris contender, or grab a winger from the beer leagues and put him on your checking line for a Cup run. Actually, scratch that last one.

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