During a Thursday afternoon appearance on Ottawa’s TSN 1200, Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille was invited to weigh in on the often polarizing Drew Doughty vs. Erik Karlsson Norris Trophy debate.
Robitaille, who has been the President of Business Operations for the Los Angeles Kings for nine years, was asked to share his perspective on east coast viewers not seeing Western Conference teams often because of the time difference, and vice versa.
“It’s hard. You see the games that are later at night. So I get it,” conceded Robitaille. “I do believe that the people voting should do their homework, always.
“I think Erik is an amazing player. He’s a game-breaker. He’s a difference-maker. And so is Drew for us. I learned awhile back that if you can add defensemen that can play 30 minutes and be difference-makers, you’re going to win a lot of games. And they both do.
“I think the difference is this year Ottawa didn’t get into the playoffs, and L.A. did. I think a lot of people that vote get into that – they look at it this way. Two years ago, Doughty was up and Erik was up and we didn’t make the playoffs, and Erik ended up winning.
“It’s just the way it is. He had an amazing year. But you always want to see where the guy takes his team. I think that’s the way a lot of people are voting. That being said, I think most teams would take Erik or Drew. They’re two incredible players.
“For us, we’re really happy with Drew because it’s not just about his production. What makes Drew Doughty very special is from the red line to our goal line, we feel he’s the best in the world. He cuts the ice. He plays against every top forward. And then there’s something about Drew that I don’t even know how he does it – he might not produce as many points as other guys, but for some reason, whenever there’s a big moment or time of the game that you need something important offensively, he seems to be the guy that brings it on for us.
“He’s been very special for us. But like I said, I think Erik Karlsson has been absolutely amazing for Ottawa. It’s just last year, they didn’t have as good a year as a team.”
Source: TSN 1200/ Transcript: Nichols