Report: Roman Josi is on the Verge of History

The Swiss superstar is two points away from breaking the Nashville Predators single-season scoring record that Paul Kariya set during the 2005-06 season. While that’s a great accomplishment in and of itself, Josi could be joining an even more elite group before the month is over.

With 13 games remaining for the Predators, Josi is 16 points away from 100. While that might just look like a nice round number, and it is, only five defensemen in NHL history have ever scored 100 points in a single season. Bobby Orr did it six separate times, Paul Coffey 5, Al MacInnis, Brian Leetch, and Denis Potvin all did it once. No one’s done it since a 23-year-old Brian Leetch did it for the Rangers in 1991-92.

Whether the 2020 Norris Trophy winner hits the century mark this season or not, he’s already cemented this season as one of the best by a defenseman in the past 26 years. The high flying ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s saw defensemen frequently reaching the 80- and 90-point plateau, but only three defensemen have eclipsed 80 points since the turn of the century; Brent Burns with 83 in 2018-19, Erik Karlsson with 82 in 2015-16, and Nicklas Lidstrom with 80 in 2005-06.

Josi is not the only blueliner having an incredible season. Colorado’s Cale Makar is getting ready to join that small list of 80-point defensemen as he currently has 75 points with 12 games remaining. There’s an outside chance Adam Fox of the Rangers (67 points) and Victor Hedman of the Lightning (66) could reach the 80-point threshold. Barring an injury or an extreme cold streak by Makar, we’ll see two defensemen do something this season that only three others have done in the last 26 years.

Professional tennis is in the tail end of what any human with two functioning eyes would consider its Golden Age. The past 20 years saw Federer, Nadal, Williams, Williams, and Djokovic win almost every major or accolade. Similar to the ATP, the NHL could be entering the Golden Age of Defensemen. With veteran players in their prime like Josi, Hedman, and Aaron Ekblad (FLA) followed by young phenoms like Makar, Fox, Quinn Hughes (VAN), Charlie McAvoy (BOS), Moritz Seider (DET), Rasmus Dahlin (BUF), and Zach Werenski (CBJ), there is literally no telling who will win the Norris on any given year. No, I’m not saying any of these extremely talented players are better than Orr, Coffey, Leetch, Potvin, or Lidstrom, but then it’s the sum being greater than the parts type of thing. This collective group of players all patrolling the blueline during the same era is like seeing all three Spider-Men in one movie.

While Colorado and Nashville fans will argue and campaign deep into the playoffs for their respected player to win the award for best defensemen of the year, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this historic year and hope Josi and reaches the century mark. While scoring 16 points over the last 13 games may seem a bit out of reach, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility with Josi.

Luca Perito

Born and raised in New York. I've lived in Arizona, Maryland, Delaware, and California. Love all sports. Twitter @elbigcalzonelp -- Instagram @thebigcalzone

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