Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Retroactive Norris Trophies

Pictured is my 1962-63 Parkhurst Red Kelly card. Aquired by the Leafs near the end of the 1959-60 season, he was 32 years old and coming off two sub-par seasons. He had been mainly a defenseman with Detroit, but was used as a forward when needed. Soon after joining Toronto he was made a permanent centreman, and would excel for seven additional seasons helping win four Cups. Kelly had won the inaugural Norris Trophy in 1953-54 as top defenseman and would have won a few more if the trophy was around earlier.
I decided to try to figure out who would have won the Norris all the way back to the beginning of the NHL in 1917-18. Most choices were fairly obvious. Post season all-star teams were picked back to 1930-31, so one could assume that one of the first team all-star defensemen should have won the Norris. In fact, since the Norris has been awarded, each and every winner has also been a first team all-star, makes sense. Also, in every season that a defenseman won the league MVP, I awarded the Norris as well. Suprisingly there were seven such occaisons when a d-man won MVP.
Only a few times did I vary from this, Red Kelly's 40 pts in 49-50 was Norris worthy over first stars, Gus Mortson and Ken Reardon, and he did make the second team all-star. Reardon gains revenge in 47-48 winning the Norris from the second team spot besting Bill Quackenbush and Jack Stewart. "Flash" Hollett wins my Norris in 42-43 with 44 pts and a second team berth. In 37-38 and 38-39 I gave the Norris to Red Horner and Tommy Anderson respectively even though neither was a first OR second team all-star. Eddie Shore was a first teamer each season, but both were down years for him, (his last two full seasons in the NHL).

As you can see, in my list, Red Kelly would have won five consecutive Norris Trophies, (including the actual won he did win). All time greats who would have won two or three were Kenny Reardon, Flash Hollett, Tommy Anderson, King Clancy, Hap Day, Buck Boucher, Harry Cameron and Sprague Cleghorn.
The immortal Eddie Shore would have won six out of eight years, third all time behind Orr and Harvey.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...