Unlike the awards that are given to forwards, which recognize both offensive and defensive aspects of the game, the Norris is the ONLY award given to defensmen. (OK...technically the Art Ross and Maurice Richard awards go to the forward OR defenseman with the most points or goals...but when was the last time a defenseman was at the top in those categories?)
I think it's time for this to change.
If you can give an award to the best "defensive" forward, then why can't you give one to the best "offensive" defenseman?
I know what a lot of you might be thinking right now..."This guy thinks Mike Green should have won the Norris." And if that's what you are thinking, then you are wrong. I actually started to think about this a while ago but it wasn't until I saw that Green finished SECOND in the voting, AHEAD of Niklas Lidstrom, that I knew it was time for a change.
The Norris trophy should be given to the best OVERALL defenseman. IF that is the case, then Green certainly is not that. While he is fantastic on the offensive side of things, I think defensively, there are a number of players that are better than he is...Niklas Lidstrom certainly being one of them (just ask Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin who they would rather play against in a best of 7). I just don't think Green's great offensive numbers make up for what he DOES NOT provide in the form of true defensive play.
I think it's time to give the best offensive defenseman his own award (the Bobby Orr or Paul Coffey award???) and keep the Norris to the best overall defenseman. I believe Chara would still have won the Norris, but Green would probably not have been in the top 3 for the Norris.
And since Green and other offensively minded defensmen could compete for the Orr/Coffey Award, there would be a number of other more defensively minded defenseman that might be considered for the Norris.
I just think with the way the game is played today, there is enough room for 2 awards for defensmen. Especially when you consider how rare it is (pratically impossible) for a defenseman in today's game to win the Art Ross or Maurice Richard trophies.