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NHL Awards: Evgeni Malkin takes home Hart Trophy

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Karlsson appeared overwhelmed by his selection as the NHL’s best defenseman. The 22-year-old had a big week, agreeing to a seven-year contract extension worth $45.5 million on Tuesday before beating out Boston’s Zdeno Chara and Nashville’s Shea Weber for his first Norris.

“It’s a huge honor,” said Karlsson, who led all defensemen with 78 points in his breakout season for the Senators. “I couldn’t be more happy than I am right now. I’ve never been a part of something this big, and it’s something that took me by surprise a little bit.”

Karlsson also recognized the symbolism of winning the Norris in the same offseason as the retirement of Niklas Lidstrom, his fellow Swede and a seven-time Norris winner, including last season. Lidstrom retired from the Detroit Red Wings on May 31 after a 20-year career.

“He really took the game to another level and showed people how to play fun hockey,” Karlsson said. “It’s an honor to be mentioned in the same way.”

Landeskog, who beat out Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and New Jersey playoff hero Adam Henrique for the Calder, had 22 goals and 30 assists for the Avalanche, who chose him with the second overall pick in last summer. The former Ontario Hockey League forward had little trouble adjusting to the NHL grind, playing in all 82 games for Colorado.

“To me, Ryan would have won it if he didn’t get hurt, and if you counted the playoffs, Adam would have won it,” Landeskog said. “I’m just trying to enjoy it, trying to soak it all in.”

Bergeron beat out St. Louis captain David Backes and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, a three-time Selke winner. Boston’s defensive stopper had 22 goals and 42 assists for the Bruins while racking up a plus-36 rating as a dominant two-way player.

“Ever since I was probably 12 years old, I never wanted to get scored on when I was on the ice,” said Bergeron, a Stanley Cup champion in 2011.

Pacioretty broke a vertebra in his back and incurred a concussion on a hit from Chara on March 8, 2011, knocking him out for the season. He returned to the Canadiens last fall and had 33 goals and 32 assists for his most productive pro season.

The 60-year-old Hitchcock was recognized for his remarkable turnaround job in St. Louis, where he took over for Davis Payne 13 games into the season and turned the Blues into the Western Conference’s No. 2 team, winning the Central Division and reaching the second round of the playoffs.

Hitchcock has a Stanley Cup ring from Dallas in 1999, but hadn’t won the Adams Trophy in three previous nominations.

“I’ll keep doing this for as long as I feel like I have the energy,” Hitchcock said. “This year was just great.”

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