STRAIGHT SHOOTERS

 

NORRIS PRE-SEASON

While we liked the work from some GMís in the Vezina and Calder voting this season, the Norris was a bit of a disappointment. While the winner was the correct choice, the others you can go right down the defensemen point page. Very disappointing indeed. Gary Suter had an unreal season with his 29 goals, as he took home the Norris. He was also the choice to win from Straight Shooters. In fact, we guessed 20 1st place votes, and he ended up with 21. Second place went to Al MacInnis, who we also had second. He was second in points but also posted over 200 hits on the season, and a +37. However, for 3rd place we chose Fred Boimistruck, who had 9 fewer points than Andersson on Hartford, who finished 3rd, but had 75 more hits. It was good enough for 2nd in the whole league behind Mario Lemieux. So, this season, we beg for the GMís to look at all things that go into being a Norris Trophy winner. Letís not take the shortcut and just going to the stats page. Look at hits, +/-, penalties. Team's PK average etc. Let us do the work.

So, this season we must come back with Gary Suter as the favorite. He put up the offense sure, but also had over 200 hits ranking 17th. Also having a +45 is amazing. Again, the offense wasnít just a little, he cleared MacInnis by 5 pts, and Andersson in 3rd by 14 points.

Our next favorite is a Jet as well, but its Don Sweeney. This man will put up some points between 63-70 but also deliver hits. He has been over 230 hits the past 6 seasons, last year coming in with 256 hits, which was 5th in the league.

Petr Svboda has been all about defense and not much offense much of his career. With his first year in Colorado he cleared 60 points. Look for him to improve on that even more this season. His hits were 276, which was 3rd in the league. This kid is going to get more chances now on the offense, and if he can hit 70 points, with the hits, he will have a good chance to win the Norris.

Fred Boimistruck. This guy just hits people. Last year finishing 2nd with 285 hits. He has won the heavy hitter award in 1992, 1991. He also tied with the lead in 1993. His last 4 seasons have been 276, 292, 273, and 285. He has also hit 60+ points his last 3 seasons, hitting 20 goals last season. If he can put up 70 points, with the amount of hits he delivers, he must be considered a favorite.

Lastly, we have Paul Coffey. While some would say he struggled in Vancouver his first season, looking at his stats he wasnít far off a normal season. He will get all the big minutes as he is the clear #1. Some offensive talent has been brought in, and some more focus on the D side of things for the Canucks. He put up 65 points, which he has broke last 3 seasons. Also had 233 hits, which was 9th in the league. His +9 was a sore spot, and if he can fix that, he will have a solid season.

So with the list Straight Shooters are taking Gary Suter as the pre-season favorite to win the Norris. With Fred Boimistruck and Petr Svoboda coming in behind him.

1.             Gary Suter

2.             Fred Boimistruck

3.             Petr Svboda

4.             Don Sweeney

5.             Paul Coffey

6.             Phil Housley

7.             Al MacInnis

8.             Peter Andersson

9.             Chris Chelios

10.         Ray Bourque

Straight Shooters