Why haven't we seen a defenseman win the Hart recently?

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by SnowblindNYR, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. SnowblindNYR Registered User

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    And was it just a different time when Pronger won it? Or was he that dominant? He beat Jagr who won the Art Ross playing 63 games. I guess maybe the voters didn't want to give a guy that only played 63 games in the season.
     
  2. Perennial Registered User

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    Pronger was just that dominant...

    Lead the NHL in +/- twice in a 3 year stretch with St. Louis, and then went on to lead 3 different teams to the Finals in the span of 5 years

    Lidstrom gets all the glory, but I think Pronger was the best Dman of his era
     
  3. DrMartinVanNostrand Kramerica Industries

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    Gaudy point totals are more attractive and obviously it's more likely for a forward to put those up than a defenseman. Also the perception that exists - in some cases fairly, in other cases not - that high scoring D's tend to be poor in their own end.

    Besides, defensemen have the Norris trophy, and while I suppose you could argue that forwards "have" the Art Ross (because it's pretty much impossible for a D to win it, and the only one who has is the undisputed best D of all-time), ultimately they don't have their own designated trophy in the way D's do. It's kind of like why it takes exceptional circumstances in baseball for a pitcher to win the MVP award; because they already basically have their own MVP award in a way that position players don't.
     
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  4. MadLuke Registered User

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    Lately is maybe not necessary since the end of WW2 would it not be of phenom that was Orr the defenseman hart winner list would be:

    Chris Pronger.

    The question could be extended why almost no defenseman won the hart in the last 75 years.

    Talent poll could be in play, maybe the most talented are more attracted to play forward, maybe there is some bias.
     
  5. MadLuke Registered User

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    I think that could be part of it for sure, but goaltender did better with Hart trophy it seem and they have the Vezina, that said until 1982 it was not voted.
     
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  6. The Nuge RIP Joey

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    There hasn’t been a dman as good as Pronger, since him and Lidstrom retired, and we’ve been spoiled with Ovi/Crosby/Malkin and then McDavid/Draisaitl/MacKinnon/Kucherov
     
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  7. Ducks in a row Go Ducks Quack Quack

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    Favoritism favors forwards over defenseman as well as goalies. It takes a really crazy season from a defenseman or goalie to get the votes to win it.
     
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  8. Perennial Registered User

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    I'd like to see some advanced metrics in a Hedman vs Pronger comparison...
     
  9. Drake1588 UNATCO

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    Babe Pratt won the Hart in 1944. There was then a huge gap until Orr won three from 1970 to 1972, and then no one else until Pronger in 2000. No one since.

    The trophy just doesn't go to defensemen very often, OP. Pronger was every bit the league's MVP that year. He was outstanding. He had to be, as the bar for players at the position to win it is extremely high.
     
  10. Hynh Registered User

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    The Hart is the basically the "Best Forward except if is scoring is way down" award.
     
  11. Chips Registered User

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    Points bias.

    part of the reason for reputation bias in defensive trophies, because it’s harder to measure in traditional stats. Unless you watched every game, at least in the past, it’s been harder to judge.

    hopefully more and more with advance stats becoming more sophisticated and covering more areas of the game, that would at least supplant “reputation” and give players with more defensive responsibilities a chance, because I really don’t think forwards are as disproportionately important to team success as the trophy disparity would suggest.
     
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  12. SnowblindNYR Registered User

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    Hmmmm, I didn't realize Pronger was the only D-man to win the Hart that wasn't Orr. Hedman is no slouch in his zone and is a stud offensively, I wonder if he'll have a shot at one at any point in his career. I guess he's around 30 now, not that many years left to do it.
     
  13. nhlfan9191 Registered User

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    It surprises me a little more that we haven’t seen a defenseman nominated more then not seeing one actually win it. It’s a thankless position and a lot of it is points bias.
     
  14. SnowblindNYR Registered User

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    Pronger had 62 points in 79 games. That's great for a D-man but not unheard of. He was +52 though.
     
  15. Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    Two main reasons:

    1. Offensive contributions are easy to measure statistically. So is a goaltender's performance, but somewhat less so. Defense has always been difficult to measure. Since defensive play is the primary way most defensemen contribute, they face an uphill battle since you can't capture their performance with a single eye-grabbing statistic like goals, points, save percentage, etc.

    2. Defensemen are almost certainly penalized for having "their own" trophy. Defensemen used to get a significant portion of the votes for the Hart trophy in the 1930's and 1940's. That dropped immediately when the first Norris trophy was introduced in 1953-54. The timing is unlikely to be a coincidence. You see the same thing in other sports (ie in baseball, pitchers don't get as much consideration for the MVP trophy because there's a separate award just for pitchers).

    Pronger was excellent in 2000, but he was fortunate that there were two forwards on track for 100+ points (Jagr and Sakic), who both missed around ~20 games. As great as he was, based on historical patterns, I don't see the voters giving the Hart to a two-way defenseman over a forward with 100+ points.
     
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  16. Perennial Registered User

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    He was also playing more than 30 minutes a game...
     
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  17. Drake1588 UNATCO

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    Well, that's not true. The Hart has been awarded since 1924. Defensemen who have won include Herb Gardiner (1927), Eddie Shore (33, 35, 36, 38), Babe Siebert (1937), Ebbe Goodfellow (1940), Tom Anderson (1940), Babe Pratt (1944), Bobby Orr (70, 71, 72), and Chris Pronger (2000). (Source)
     
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  18. SnowblindNYR Registered User

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    I guess since the 40s and the Norris was introduced. But as someone said goalies have won the Hart despite the Vezina.
     
  19. Drake1588 UNATCO

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    Both goalies and defensemen occasionally do win the Hart. Price, Theodore and Hasek (x2) have won the Hart since 1998. It's just very rare.
     
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  20. MadLuke Registered User

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    The original statement was since the end of WW2
     
  21. Mr Positive Cap Crunch Incoming

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    That's a good point. I think the nature of subjective awards is that they are given to someone you didn't expect to be good. Like for instance the Jack Adams usually going to a coach of a team people thought would be bad.

    And for the Hart, there's lots of biases already that go into it. But, in terms of flavor of the month, defenseman are expected to be pillars of teams. When a forward has a crazy hot season, they can have the effect of a #1 Dman in terms of driving play, and it can seem more inhuman, or less expected.

    Then there's the bias towards points, so of course forwards will win it over Dmen

    It's strange because in the definition of the Hart, Dmen should win it more often than forwards. They are often the post important part of a great team. For Tampa, I'd think losing Hedman would be a bigger deal than losing any forward.
     
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  22. Bertuzzipunch Registered User

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    Quinn Hughes will win one at least in the next 5 years.
     
  23. Mrb1p PRICERSTOPDAPUCK

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    I think that Burns in 16-17 shouldve got that Hart.


    Theres no argument for him not getting it, IMO.

    Lead his team in goals and points (by 10 pts) lead the league in shots taken, 100 hits, his point production was "normal" as in, not boosted by PP points, 40 primary points at ES while McDavid had 50... I have a hard time believing the 20 points difference between Burns and Connor was enough to close the gap.
     
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  24. Adam da bomb Registered User

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    Why’d you have to go to baseball when goalies having their own award and winning is a much closer argument? Same sport at least. I guess goalies winning is less rare than I thought my bad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  25. WooTangClan Registered User

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    What is unheard of are those kind of totals with the kind of defensive game and physicality that Pronger brought. It's going to take that kind of well-rounded game for a D to win it again; Hedman should be getting some consideration at least.
     
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