25 Worst award snubs in NHL history: 21. Scott Stevens Norris Trophy 1994
Scott Stevens was one of the most feared defensemen in the history of the league. He’s a Hall of Famer and a three-time Stanley Cup Champion. He has a Conn Smythe Trophy and he’s been voted in the top ten in Norris Trophy voting 16 times. That’s insane. He was so good at everything. He knew what he had to do for those great New Jersey Devils teams. Many probably don’t remember the days when he was scoring 60-70 points every year. He transitioned his game because the Devils already had Scott Niedermayer, one of the best offensive defensemen of all time.
Yet, Stevens has never actually won the Norris Trophy. He was in second place for the Norris twice. The one that hurts the most is 1994. He and Ray Bourque were neck and neck for the award all season. They both got first place MVP votes. These were by far the two best defensemen in the league.
Stevens led the Devils to the best goal differential in the league. The Bruins had the luxury of playing in a division with the lowly Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes. Bourque had a ton of points this season, finishing the year with 91. Stevens had 78 for a Devils team that was known as a shutdown team thanks to Stevens.
So Stevens was shutting down opponents at an opportune clip while also adding a top-line forward’s amount of points on a team that came in without the serious expectations of other teams. Obviously, he deserved the Norris Trophy. Voters see all of the pretty points, and their vote changes. Stevens had the impact, and he deserved the trophy.