Skip to main content

Leave the Norris alone

Bill Kacoullas, Fountain Valley, Calif.

I am grateful beyond words that the powers-that-be at The Hockey News deemed that the consummate breed of hockey player known as the defenseman deserved a special issue. I have had no greater joy in my 40-plus years of watching the game than casting my eye on the skill and courage found in the blueline brigade.

However, I have one bone of contention. I have railed for many years against giving a singular offensive or defensive defenseman award (even having a letter printed in The Hockey News about it some 27-seven years ago). It is because I fear that it will open the door to honoring the extremes on both ends of the equation (think Mike Green or Rod Langway) and leave the truly great all-around defenseman out of the running.

Nick Lidstrom has been the best all-around blueliner and the best defensively for a number of years. If an additional defensive defenseman award had been created, would he have won that multiple times? Or would the writers have figured that he was a certain Norris winner and decide to give credit to a lesser-known defense-first rearguard?

Offensive excellence does not preclude defensive greatness (Orr, Salming, Robinson, Bourque, etc.). I just want to be sure that the awards will be given on merit, not as a way to simply draw attention to underrated players.

So, go ahead...convince me to join your bandwagon.

TOP HEADLINES

Alex Wennberg
Play

NHL Check-In: Keeping Up With the Pacific Division – Part 2

Adam Proteau gives projections for the Kraken, Golden Knights, Kings and Oilers with needs they should address by the NHL trade deadline.

Martin St-Louis

NHL Stat Pack: Captains Moved Before the Trade Deadline

Bo Horvat joins the growing list of NHL captains traded mid-season over the years. Carol Schram highlights some of the most memorable moves.

Vladislav Gavrikov
Play

Blue Jackets Exploring Trade Market for Vladislav Gavrikov

Recent speculation suggests the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs would be a fit for Columbus Blue Jackets D-man Vladislav Gavrikov.