Ramblings: Penguins returning; Norris and Selke finalists; notes from around the league – July 21

Michael Clifford

2020-07-21

The NHL announced the finalists for the Norris Trophy (top defenceman) and Selke Trophy (best defensive forward). The Norris finalists are John Carlson, Victor Hedman, and Roman Josi. My personal ballot was Carlson, Josi, and Alex Pietrangelo. I have no problem with Hedman; Pietrangelo will probably finish in the top-5.

When writing about this a couple months ago, my selections for Selke were Patrice Bergeron, Brayden Point, and Valeri Nichushkin. I gave honourable mentions to Sean Couturier, Brad Marchand, and Teuvo Teravainen. The actual finalists were Bergeron, Couturier, and Ryan O'Reilly.

I didn't really think Nichushkin would win – I've explained how players need to produce big points and usually need to be a centre to win the trophy. I hope he does get some consideration, though.

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There had been lots of chatter as to whether Max Domi – and other players with pre-existing conditions – would be playing in the NHL's Return To Play. While he hasn't suited up for a game yet, obviously, Domi was at Canadiens practice on Monday. It does seem as though he intends to play.

Just for posterity: Domi skated on what is effectively their fifth line, so he still needs to get up to speed.

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A bevy of Penguins players – including Patric Hornqvist – have finally been cleared to return to practice. I'm going to talk about testing later, but this is going to be a big issue when playoffs hit. Players are going to miss playoff games waiting for test results. I