Should Scott Stevens have won a Norris

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Randall Graves*, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. It's been said Scott Stevens is the greatest defensemen to never win a Norris. Do you agree?

    If you think he should've won one, what year should he have won it?
     
  2. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    No I think Brad Park is the best D-Man to never win a Norris (since the Norris trophy began). Stevens may be second, maybe also Salming off the top of my head.

    Stevens had the ability to win a Norris maybe but he never had one of his best seasons in a year when there wasn't another D-Man better. He certainly was never robbed of the Norris and I really don't think he was ever the 1st or 2nd best consensus choice as the best defenceman in the NHL. He had his best defensive years after he stopped having a great deal of offensive production. He may well have been the best defensive defenceman in the NHL for several years but was never the best all around. Ray Bourque and Chelios were better all around then Stevens for 15 year stretches each. Chelios had seasons in Chicago where he was as good defensively as Stevens ever was but was also a real force on offence.
     
  3. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Yep Brad Park wins it easily for me too.

    As for Stevens, I'm a big fan but I always thought of him as a very good defenseman until becoming a great one with the Devils and teachings of Larry Robinson. In those years with the Devils he was downright awesome but I never felt he was the best Dman in the league.
     
  4. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    I'll go with Brad Park on this one. Runner up 5 times to the greatest Dman.
     
  5. JCD

    JCD Registered User

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    Agree on Park, but I also think that Stevens was robbed of the Norris for the 93-94 season. IMO, he was clearly the best d-man in the league that year, scoring nearly a point-per-game on an undergunned offensive team while playing dominating defense and carting away with the +/- lead while facing opponents top players for 30+ mins a night.

    Bourque had a good year, but I think the "name" factor is the only reason he took home the prize over Stevens.
     
  6. jerseydevil

    jerseydevil Registered User

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    93-94 was the year...

    but the Norris goes usually goes to th best offensive d-man...not the best defenseman....

    this doesn't hold true every year..but a pattern has defeinitely been established...
     
  7. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    How about Adam Foote?

    Personally I would go with Börje Salming.

    But the point about going to offensive defenceman is valid. How many of the voters automatically go to the stats sheet to make their vote? Don't know but it may suggest that there should be a seperate award to recognize the contributions of defensive defencemen.
     
  8. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    The team wasn't undergunned in 94 in team output at least. The Devils had the 2nd best offense in the league, and also the 2nd best defense to go with their 2nd overall points total. Stevens led his team in scoring, 5th among defensemen league wide, as well as the league in +/-. He should have won, but it was pretty darn close.

    1993-94 NORRIS: Ray Bourque 199 (26-21-6); Scott Stevens 195 (24-23-6); Al MacInnis 60 (4-6-22); Sergei Zubov 15 (0-2-9); Brian Leetch 10 (0-2-4); Chris Chelios 3 (0-0-3); Paul Coffey 1 (0-0-1); Nicklas Lidstrom 1 (0-0-1); Sandis Ozolinsh 1 (0-0-1); Larry Murphy 1 (0-0-1)
     
  9. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I'll argue that Tim Horton was the second-best defenceman to never win the Norris (since the trophy's inception). Park is the clear-cut No. 1, and he would have won it several times if not for the Orr factor.

    I would have given Stevens the Norris in 1993-94. I'll never begrudge anything that Ray Bourque won during his incredible, record-setting career, but Stevens should have won. As good as Bourque was that season (I believe it was his best for point-per-game clip, and he was his normal all-round dominant self), Stevens all-round game was better. He dictated the offensive, defensive and physical pace of the game every time he was on the ice. Stevens play, combined with the arrival of Lemaire and Brodeur, signalled the turning point in the Devils franchise that season: from a talented but unpredictable wildcard to an efficient, consistent contender.
     
  10. raleh

    raleh Registered User

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    GBC, have I ever told you your my favorite poster?:yo:
     
  11. devsfan8

    devsfan8 Registered User

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    If they had an award for best defensive Defenseman then Scotty would have won several. He was certainly the best in his era. I cannot argue against Park, Potvin, and Orr being better becuase I was not priveleged enough to see them play other then highlights.

    Stevens year to win it was 94 when he had 78 points and was a +53. he was not just the best defenseman in hockey that year but he was easily the best.

    There were several years during his career he could have won it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2006
  12. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    I can't think of a single year he got snubbed on Norris voting. I'd argue he is the best player not to ever go to an all-star game.
     
  13. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    That was tongue in cheek. It was just to point out that he will probably never get much consideration for the award because of his style of play, hence my belief there should also be an award for defensive defencemen (like the Selke award for forwards).
     
  14. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I loe Stevens but Park is the best of all time to never win the Norris. He had 5 first team all-stars selections. Three of them were when Orr won it and the other two were Potvins. After that Salming comes to mind and Horton. Also Serge Savard in his prime would give Stevens all he could handle. Neither one of them won a Conn Smythe Trophy so I'll give that to Scott. But Tim Horton was at least as good IMO.
     
  15. raleh

    raleh Registered User

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    Serge Savard did win a Conn Smythe in 1969 and had it been around in 1962 a case could be made that Horton would have won it with his 16 points in 12 games. They're both on my all time team which has a grand toal of 1 norris trophy!
     
  16. Nihilism

    Nihilism Registered User

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    Shoulda won in 94
     
  17. Ronnie Bass

    Ronnie Bass elite pissy upside

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    Totally agree with everything you said here.
     
  18. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    My issue with that is the ofensive daman award would just become a Ross trophy for defencemen or the Defencive award would be like the Selke and go to offensive stars who take the time to back check.
     
  19. discostu

    discostu Registered User

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    I agree. As much as people like to say that the Norris is primarily an offensive award, it has been defencemen that are good on both sides of the ice that have gotten the recognition. For a purely offensive defenceman to win the award, they usually need to really stand out offensively ahead of the competition, like Coffey did.

    Gonchar, who had a great streak of being among the league's leading defencemen pointgetters for a number of years, has never even been a Norris finalist. Meanwhile, Stevens has gotten a fair bit of consideration for the award. In the 93-94 award, it was nearly a dead-heat. Guys like Hatcher have been finalists in recent seasons.

    The award is not as well-rounded as people like, but, it's not as bad as people make it out to be.
     
  20. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Thanks, buddy. Is this just because I picked for you in the minor league draft?

    I think Tim Horton is a horribly underrated defenceman. For over two decades, he was hockey's all-time leader for games played among defencemen. He never put up the points, but that's okay. He played his prime years at a time when defencemen were discouraged from jumping up into the play. (Unless your name was Pierre Pilote or Doug Harvey, and even Harvey didn't put up eye-popping numbers).

    Horton was a very good skater, a strong puck mover, and he had one of the hardest shots the game has ever seen. His performance in the 1962 playoffs is indicative of what he would have done if he was encouraged to jump into the rush.

    One name that hasn't been mentioned that should be for "best defencemen without a Norris" is Bill Gadsby. A first-team all-star three times (twice a runner-up to Doug Harvey) and second-team all-star four times. A rock-solid, sturdy, two-way defenceman who at one time held the league record for assists in a season by a defenceman. Likely one of the best players to never win a Stanley Cup, too. My top five would probably be Park, Horton, Stevens, Savard and Gadsby. (With Salming and Howe receiving honourable mentions).

    I don't think the voting for the Norris is as bad as some make it out to be. It's not like Phil Housley was a perennial threat for the trophy. (Housley's lone second team all-star selection came in 1992. He wasn't a finalist in 1993, when he had a confounding 97 points and a -14). Paul Coffey had over 100 points in 1989-90, but wasn't a finalist. Yeah, Sandis Ozilinsch was mysteriously a finalist in 1997, but for the most part, the finalists and winners tend to be pretty good all-round defencemen. Ray Bourque was heralded as one of the best defensive defencemen in the game for most of his career.
     
  21. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    I`ll have to disagree with you here. As stated earlier, Jersey had the 2nd top offence in the league that year; Boston was 8th. So the fact that Bourque had more points in 10 less games on a team with less offence says something.

    Defensively, the edge would go to Stevens; but I emphasize the word edge. Bourque was outstanding defensively as well. Stevens +/- was more impressive looking, but when you look at the rosters you`ll notice that the Devils had 5 players +30 or over; Boston none. Stevens was far and away Jersey`s best, but he was still getting far more help than Bourque. Stevens was on the ice for 47% of NJs GF and 42% of their GA for a net of +5%. Bourque was on the ice for 45% of Boston`s GF but only 34% of their GA for a net of +11%.

    Stevens had plenty of name recognition back then. If anything, Bourque`s previous Norris dominance may have worked against him. When a player is that consistently good, his play can be taken for granted. Voters are often looking to give awards to new faces when they become contenders. For example from `76 to `80 every Norris went to either Potvin or Robinson. In `81 Randy Carlyle led defencemen in points and they gave him the award, ignoring the fact that he was mediocre at best defensively. Potvin was far more deserving that year.

    Stevens and Bourque were both outstanding that season. I wouldn`t have a problem if Stevens had won the award, but everybody calling it a robbery are selling Bourque short.

    You know I respect you GBC, but as somebody who watched a lot of Sabre games in the 80s, I think you really exaggerate how bad Housely was defensively. Early in his career he was an easy mark, but he got better. Was pretty decent at playing the angles on 2-on-1s, wasn`t very physical but used his speed well. -14 on Winnipeg isn`t that bad compared to Coffey`s marks in Pittsburgh. They were both about equal defensively. It wasn`t the expected role from either of them; smart coaches paired them with rock- solid stay-at-home guys who would create the turnover then let Housely or Coffey start the rush back.

    Housely wasn`t a Langway or a Ramsey. But he wasn`t a Delmore or Berard either.
     
  22. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Coffey in 1995 had the best season 2-way of his career and won the Norris but should have also won the Hart. Coffey >>>>>> Housley offensively and defencively.
     
  23. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    I think Andy Delmore has set the bar for ultra crappy defensive play by defencemen. Ric Jackman is up there, Bryan Berard is up there, but none of them hold a candle to Delmore. When you see a player with that much skill, especially that shot, and he can't crack the show, it doesn't take long to realize why.

    I've often said that Coffey is average defensively, which is why I rate him below contemporaries like Chelios and Fetisov. (Some, like Psycho Papa Joe and I'm guessing Philly Flyer Fan, have Coffey even lower). It's also why I don't get upset when I see Coffey below guys like Lidstrom, Park, Horton and Pilote, who all deserve top 10 all-time consideration.

    But Coffey was better than Housley defensively. His defensive play cost him the Norris in 1989, but you realize that 1989 wasn't that strong of a year for defenceman when you consider that Steve Duchesne finished fifth in Norris balloting. Coffey finished behind Doug Wilson in 1990 because of his defensive play. (He really was brutal that year). I know that Housley played at a time when there was a ton of depth among all-star defencemen, but Housley's defensive lapses are the reason he wasn't elected to more post-season teams. We can criticize selections all we want, but I think voters got it right with Housley.

    One thing I will say for Coffey: he was brilliant in the lockout-shortened 1995 season. Outside of Ray Bourque in 1987 and 1990, I haven't seen a defenceman play that well in a season in the last 20 years. Coffey should have been a Hart finalist. Not only did he score at a 100-point clip, but Bowman really got through to him, and Coffey was very, very good in his own zone that season. It didn't last.
     
  24. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    That depends on the voters and what criteria they use. i.e. We see different winners of the Pearson and Hart trophies because there is a different set of voters using different criteria.

    It seems like there is a trophy to recognize most type of players except the defensive defenceman. And I'll quote from NHL.com:

    There should be a similiar award given to defencemen in my opinion.
     
  25. discostu

    discostu Registered User

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    I'll disagree with this assessment, as, there are trophies for statistical achievements in the NHL (Art Ross, Richard) and one for defensive forwards (Selke) there is still no trophy for best overall forward. The Hart and the Pearson are supposed to fulfill that purpose, but, both awards (the Hart especially) has an increasing level of competition from other positional players, like goalies and defencemen.

    Right now, there is only one trophy given to each position (goalie, defencemen, forwards) that is not based on statistics. I don't see the need to give two to defencemen.

    Perhaps it would be better to create a statistical award for defencemen (The Bobby Orr trophy?) for the highest scoring defencemen in the season. It may take away some of the offensive-bias in the Norris voting.
     

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