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NHL Defensemen Call on the League and Gary Bettman to Make Major Change

Published November 25, 2023 at 4:07 PM
BY TJ TUCKER
Defensemen around the NHL believe a major change needs to take place in the league, and they're going public with it.

NHL Gets Called on the Make Major Change by Defensemen



A new article from The Athletic highlights how many defensemen, and others, in the NHL feel about the fact that there's no award for the best defensive defenseman in the league. Especially considering there's one for best defensive forward."

"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.

The only award available for specifically defensemen in the Norris Trophy, which is supposed to go to the blueliner "who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position." As anyone who watches the NHL regularly can tell you, the Norris always goes to the best offensive defenseman. Case in point: last year's winner Erik Karlsson.

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"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)." - Nashville Predators GM Barry Trotz."

NHL Defensemen Want a Major Change for the League



It's hard to disagree with anything any of these guys have said. This award is long overdue. As Ekholm said, it's "ludicrous" one doesn't already exist.
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