Just another Network site

Victor Hedman a ‘longshot’ for Norris Wednesday

  • In Hedman’s recent conversation with the Times, he also discussed winning gold at the World Championships, the Olympics, the Jonathan Drouin trade and the state of the Lightning.
  • We grew as a team as the the tournament went on, and got some big help with (Nicklas Backstrom) and (Henrik Lundqvist) coming in late.
  • First All Star appearance

    A: “It’s tough when you miss the playoffs, but I think we took big steps especially in the offensive part of the game.

  • But I took big steps, especially on the power play, produced a lot of points on the power play.
  • It’s tough when we have a successful team, guys are going to get extensions and make more money, and it’s tough when you know the cap doesn’t move that much, to get everyone in.

It’s already been one heck of a summer for Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.

@TBTimes_JSmith: Victor Hedman said he was “kind of shocked” at Drouin trade, tough to lose him, but. “We believe in the plan.”

It’s already been one heck of a summer for Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.

Hedman, 26, experienced the euphoria of winning a gold medal for Sweden at last month’s World Championships in Paris. Now, Hedman is in Las Vegas for Wednesday’s NHL Awards, as he’s a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman.

The other finalists are Erik Karlsson (Ottawa) and Brent Burns (San Jose), who are the favorites.

“It’s obviously a tremendous honor for me,” Hedman told the Times. “To be there with Erik, too, playing with him when we’re under 15, under-16 national teams. Kind of growing up together on that stage. And then playing in NHL and getting nominated together for the Norris, its’ a good feeling. I obviously know it’s a long shot to win, but just to go there and experience everything, it’s going to be so cool, to see everything and how it works, take it all in.”

In Hedman’s recent conversation with the Times, he also discussed winning gold at the World Championships, the Olympics, the Jonathan Drouin trade and the state of the Lightning.

Q: How would you describe the experience of winning gold at Worlds?

A: “It was phenomenal. TO see what it means for the Swedish people, to come home to Stockholm and 35-40,000 in the square, it was an unreal experience. We grew as a team as the the tournament went on, and got some big help with (Nicklas Backstrom) and (Henrik Lundqvist) coming in late. It was an emotional victory for us. For me it was the first big thing that I won. It leaves a good taste in your mouth, and something I really want to do again. I want to do it with Tampa.”

Q: Have you ever seen anything like it, that celebration in the square?

A: I’ve seen it in the past when Sweden won big tournaments, both in soccer and hockey. But you have to experience yourself to really get the feeling of it. And I did it, so it was so cool. Words can’t describe the feeling you have when you walk on stage and see the whole crowd wearing blue and yellow. It was awesome.”

Q: Does it make you want to participate in the Olympics even more? I know you won’t be able to this time (NHL isn’t participating in the 2018 Olympics, the All-Star Game is coming to Tampa in January).

A: “Yeah, it does. It sucks. It’s very very happy that we got the All-Star Game and I think Tampa as a city and an organization really deserved to have an All-Star Game. But you kind of wish it was under a little bit of different circumstances. But it is what it is. It sucks for us, we really want to play in the Olympics. To represent Sweden on a big stage is something we’ve always wanted to do. It’s bad timing.”

Q: Was this the best year of your career? I know offensive numbers were higher than they’ve ever been. First All Star appearance

A: “It’s tough when you miss the playoffs, but I think we took big steps especially in the offensive part of the game. I got limited time on the pK and they kind of changed my role a little bit. But I took big steps, especially on the power play, produced a lot of points on the power play. We had a really good power play for most of the year. I’m really encouraged about that. But I want to put everything together once more and contribute even more in both ends of the ice, killing off penalties, playing on the power play, playing big minutes. That’s my feling going into next year, I want to play both parts fo the game. Encouraged by this season, but you don’t really feel good when you make the playoffs. You can look at it with different eyes, see what you did good and what you need to improve to make the team more successful.”

A: Q: What’s the feeling among the group this summer? Betting everyone would love for the season to start right now after missing the playoffs. What needs to change?

“We got to play like we did in the last 30-35 games. That’s the game we want to play, fast high speed game. We were making things a lot easy for ourselves, we had unbelievable goaltending. We kept the puck out of our own net, that’s what’s going to to be big for us going down the stretch as well. Coop has been very clear on where we need to improve and that’s keeping the puck out of our own net. We know we’re going to score goals. We h ave a lot of firepower up front and are very deadly on the power play and know we’re going ot score goals. It’s just a matter of keeping it out of our own net. That’ll be the same philosophy next year, play like we did the last 30 games.”

Q: What did you think of the Jonathan Drouin trade?

A: I was kind of shocked to see it at first. It’s a tough business. You see so many guys go. We believe in the plan we’ve got for our team. With the expansion draft and us being close to the cap, it’s a tough business. You’ve got to move pieces sometimes. To see Dru go, it’s always tough to see guys go. Dru is going to have a tremendous career in the NHL. It’s tough when we have a successful team, guys are going to get extensions and make more money, and it’s tough when you know the cap doesn’t move that much, to get everyone in.

“On the other hand, I’m really excited to see Sergachev, and see what he can bring to the team and the organization. I haven’t seen him play that much. But from what I’ve heard and talked to people, he’s a grade-A prospect. So it’ll be fun to see him in training camp and see where he stands and see what kind of player he is.”

Q: Do you think the Lightning has to make any more offseason moves?

A: You’ll have to ask Steve (Yzerman). He’s got his plan. We believe, I believe in this plan that we’re heading, and that’s the main, one of the big reasons I stayed and committed to Tampa for a long time. I believe we have a team that’s going to play for a playoff spot and be a competitive team that’s going to play for a playoff spot and be competitive going down the stretch. So we’ll see what happens. It’s a different year with a new team coming in. We’ll see what else happens this summer and I’m sure it’ll be a busy summer. But we’ll see where we land with it.”

Victor Hedman a ‘longshot’ for Norris Wednesday

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.