There's an awful lot of keystrokes on this site devoted to critiquing Hedman's stick-whiffing and wand-waving and not using his imposing size for him to be discussed as a Norris candidate, isn't there? Or does this get back to the Norris trophy maybe being more about point-scoring and offense than playing defense-first hockey?
There seems to be room beside the Norris for a separate trophy to the Dman who plays the best defense--the guy who will play the man not the puck, use his physicality every shift, check hard, force you outside, rub you out, lift your stick, strip you clean, clog lanes and block shots, protect his goalie and other teammates with an ill humor, etc. All while not neglecting offense, at least in terms of first passes, breakouts, zone clearing without icing or going over the glass, and the all-important keeps at the point...whether those things happen to end up on the score sheet as G and A or not. A defense-first player who still contributes to 5-man offense...same as the Lady Byng is for sportsmanship and not being a prick while still contributing at an extremely high level of competitive play
"We are not concerned with people who profess the democratic faith but yearn for the dark security of dependency where they can be spared the burden of decisions. Reluctant to grow up, or incapable of doing so, they want to remain children and be cared for by others. Those who can, should be encouraged to grow; for the others, the fault lies not in the system but in themselves." --Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals [emphasis added].