Thursday, June 21, 2012

Time For a New Trophy for Defensemen

The NHL awards the James Norris Memorial Trophy to the league's top "defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position".

Unfortunately the voters from the professional hockey writer's association give so much weight to scoring in their voting that the winner isn't always the best defenseman. The winner in 2012, the young Erik Karlsson, has once again brought this issue to the forefront. It is clear to just about everyone that Karlsson is nowhere near the best all around defenseman in the NHL. His role with the team was limited and unlike the other nominees he was not called upon to regularly shut down the NHL's top players. What he did do was score a lot of goals, particularly on the power play. It's an obvious travesty that goal scoring is considered the hallmark of the best defensive player.

It's time we had two trophies, one for best defenseman and one for the best offensive defenseman.  Name the best offensive defenseman trophy in honor of Bobby Orr (for obvious reasons).