Drew Doughty will find out momentarily if he will win the 2015 Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the defenseman who “demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.” He was also a finalist in 2010.
Before we learn whether he’ll be carrying some hardware around Las Vegas this evening, here are several thoughts of his in the lead-up to the NHL Awards, as learned during the event’s red carpet introductions.
On what it would mean to him to win the Norris Trophy:
It’d mean a lot. I take a lot of pride in trying to be the best defenseman on the ice every night and to kind of finally get recognized for that as a nominee is huge and hopefully bring the award back to LA would be one of the best things I ever have … it doesn’t match the Stanley Cup or anything like that but as an individual award, that’s the highest I can really get.
On whether this last season was his best in the NHL:
Yeah, I would think so. I think I’ve really matured. I do a lot of things behind the scenes, not just on the ice. I’m definitely a better leader in the room. I have a lot of young guys that are looking up to me, things I’ve got to do there. Overall, I think the best season I’ve had, for sure.
On whether 30-minute games took a toll on him:
No, I was fine. I enjoyed playing that many minutes. Even though we didn’t make the playoffs, which is a worst case scenario, it’s a blessing in disguise. We’ve got these three, four months to work out to finally be in shape for the season, because when we were winning the cups, we only had one month to work out. That’s just not enough time. It’s a blessing in disguise. We’re going to be ready for the next one.
On which Kings he would want on the ice with him for 3-on-3 overtime:
I don’t know. Maybe like Kopitar and Carter or Kopitar and Brown. It doesn’t matter to me. Just put me out there with Kopi and I’ll be happy.
On whether he continues to seek advice from Rob Blake:
I always ask Blakey for advice. He’s a Hall of Famer now. He’s a Norris Trophy winner. He’s a legend as an LA King. He helps me a lot. I went to him a lot this year, especially I was struggling to score goals this year. So me and Blakey would go over video and watch things like that. He helps me a lot and he’s very good at giving me a lot of confidence, too. When I play with confidence, I play at my best. So I love going up to his office and talking with him.
On whether Rob Blake gives him advice on hip checking:
Yeah, I’ve been doing that for a while. So he can help me maybe even get better at it. One thing he doesn’t do is come on the ice a lot. I’d kind of like him to do that one day and kind of help me out physically on the ice.
On what he thinks of the 3-on-3 overtime:
I think it’d be cool. I think the shootout, it sucks to lose in it and I think a lot of teams lose points because of it. So I think this will be a little more fair.