That sound you're hearing is the low moan of Marc Bergevin, who could have signed a pre-Norris Subban to a five-year, $25 million deal. Now he has a Norris winner that will need a new contract at the end of next season. That's unfortunate.
Subban narrowly beat out Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild, finishing with 66 first-place votes to Suter's 65, and just 36 more points overall.
The NHL, on Subban's merit:
Subban topped NHL defensemen in scoring, recording 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) in 42 games as the Canadiens won the Northeast Division crown and posted the League's fourth-best record. The 24-year-old Toronto native also led defensemen in power-play scoring with 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists), helping Montreal post the League's fifth-best success rate with the man advantage (20.7%). Subban ranked second on the Canadiens in points, plus-minus (+12) and average ice time per game (23:14).
And here's how voting from the Professional Hockey Writers' Association shook out.
It's worth noting that, while the top three finalists just so happened to receive the most votes, the top five is rounded out by more defensive-minded defencemen Francois Beauchemin and Zdeno Chara. That's somewhat heartening.
But the most interesting thing to me here is that Andrei Markov received a first-place vote for the Norris. Somebody in the PHWA didn't even feel that Subban was the best defenceman on his team. How does that happen?