Yeah, it's certainly different now. But honestly, as much as we want a defensive defenseman award or it to rank higher in the thought process...do we really? Think about it.
The Norris Trophy, like most awards, is voted on by the media. The same media that contains Eddie Olczyk, Paul Steigerwald, the zany Bob Errey, Jack Edwards, maybe this jerk
And all the other people we complain about on a daily basis (minus the good ones: guys on TSN (McKenzie, Ferraro, Gord, Cuthbert), Pierre McGuire (who people don't like it, but is the most knowledgeable guy out there), Doc, Andy Brickley, and so on, they'll just get out-numbered by local beat writers that don't have a clue).
It's not like the old 6 or 12 team-league where you see every player all the time. Ignoring this season, how is the Ducks beat writer for the Orange County Register going to understand who was good defensively all year long? There's no official stats for it, it's not as easily detectable as a scoring play, it takes knowledge of the game to realize who is doing good and who is doing not so good, basically...it's tough.
I mean, I spend a stupid amount of time watching the game and analyzing it and trying to understand it better and if you ask me who the best 5 guys are defensively in the league, I'd really need some time to think and then the next day, if you asked me again, I'd need more time to think and I wouldn't come up with the same 5 guys I don't think...maybe I overthink it, but it's hard.
My point is two-fold: A) It's not really that easy B) The people that are voting for it, you don't like or trust
It's baffling to me that we don't have more awards voted on by coaches and managers...it's a shame really.