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NHL Defensemen Call On League To Create New Annual Trophy

Published November 25, 2023 at 10:07 PM
BY GRAHAM MONTGOMERY
One kind of player that has been consistently undervalued by fans and media alike is the old reliable defensive defensemen. Now several players that fit this description are calling on the league to recognize their contributions to the game of hockey.

NHL Defensemen Call For New Trophy For Blueliners



The Athletic published an article today discussing the changing roles of defensemen in today's NHL and how the players feel the league should respond to these changes. Several defenseman spoke up, saying that the league should implement a new award to recognize their talent.

"That aspect blows my mind. There's a defensive forward award, but none for the defensemen." - Marc-Édouard Vlasic



"That's really dated. That's something that should be on the table. There are so many defensive defensemen around the league that keep their whole team together, and they don't get enough recognition around the league." - Mattias Ekholm.


NHL Needs An Award For Best Defensive Defenseman



As it stands, there is only one trophy exclusive to defensemen, the Norris trophy, which is simply awarded to the best defenseman in a given season. Traditionally, the award has been given to best overall defenseman in the league but now it essentially only goes to defensemen that score a lot. Often times those players are also solod defensively, such as Colorado's Cale Makar, but that is not always the case. Just last season Erik Karlsson won the award for his 101 point effort, but no one would accuse Karlsson of being good defensively.


Predators general manager Barry Trotz spoke on this issue, specifically citing Karlsson as an example.

"There almost should be (two awards). The Norris Trophy these days is probably a little more on points and production than it is on guys that can really play a defensive, solid game. Erik Karlsson got 100 points last year, but I don't think anyone would say he's a true defending defenseman. He's a modern offensive defenseman, which is part of (the game)."

At this point, it only seems like a matter of time before the NHL gives in as a growing number of voices around the league call for an award to honor the best defenders in the league. After all, there is a trophy for best defensive forward.

As seen on NHL Defensemen Call on the League and Gary Bettman to Make Major Change
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November 25   |   205 answers
NHL Defensemen Call On League To Create New Annual Trophy

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