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updated: 4/28/2014 1:43 PM

Hawks' Keith a finalist for top defenseman

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  • Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith celebrates with Andrew Shaw after Keith scored a third-period goal to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 Sunday. Keith was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy on Monday.

      Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith celebrates with Andrew Shaw after Keith scored a third-period goal to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 Sunday. Keith was named a finalist for the Norris Trophy on Monday.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) was named one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy, the NHL's top defensive honor on Monday.

       Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) was named one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy, the NHL's top defensive honor on Monday.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Duncan Keith, here scoring against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday in Game 6 of the NHL playoffs, was named a finalist Monday for the Norris Trophy, which is given to the defenseman with the best all-around game.

       Duncan Keith, here scoring against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday in Game 6 of the NHL playoffs, was named a finalist Monday for the Norris Trophy, which is given to the defenseman with the best all-around game.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald Report

Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith is one of three finalists for the 2014 James Norris Trophy, given annually to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-around ability, NHL officials announced Monday.

Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins) and Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) also are finalists for the top award, which Keith won in the 2009-10 season when he helped to lead the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup title.

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"It's a huge honor to be nominated," Keith said in a statement. "I wouldn't be nominated without having great teammates and a great defense partner in Brent Seabrook. It's a special feeling to be up for this award."

This season, Keith collected 61 points (6 goals, 55 assists) in 79 games, tying a career-high in assists and marking the second-highest point total of his NHL career. Those totals ranked him first among defenseman in assists and second among defensemen in points.

If he captures the honor, Keith would be the third Blackhawks player to earn more than one Norris Trophy. Other Blackhawks to win the award have included Pierre Pilote (1963, 1964, 1965), Doug Wilson (1982), and Chris Chelios (1993, 1996).

Earlier this season, head coach Joel Quenneville said he believed Keith was playing even better than when he won the award in 2010.

"I think he's been at a better level this year as far as both sides of the puck," Quenneville said. "Obviously his production has been high-end.

"Defensively, him and (Brent Seabrook) together have been an excellent pair, so it's been a real good year for him."

• Mike Spellman will have more on the Blackhawks and Duncan Keith later today.

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