The trophy is named in honour of James E. Norris, owner of the Detroit Red Wings from 1932 to 1952. The trophy was first awarded in the 1953–54 NHL season, with Red Kelly winning the first award.
Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins won the award for a record eight consecutive seasons (1968–75). Doug Harvey won the award seven times (in an 8 year span). Nicklas Lidstrom has won it six times in his career, two more than the comparable Ray Bourque won it five times during his career.
Here's some Norris Trophy Trivia.
- Nicklas Lidstrom has been nominated for the Norris Trophy how many times? Answer: Lidstrom, a 19 year veteran, has been nominated for the Norris trophy 11 times in the last 13 years. Raymond Bourque had 15 nominations in his career (5 wins). Another 4 times he finished 4th in voting, just out of official finalist status. Bourque played 23 seasons.
- Which of these great defensemen did not win a Norris Trophy: Al MacInnis? Randy Carlyle? Brad Park? Rob Blake? Answer: Brad Park, who had the unfortunate status as being the second best defenseman in the Bobby Orr era.
- Doug Harvey won 7 Norris Trophies in an 8 year span. Who interrupted his amazing run in 1959?
- Name the only two defensemen to win both the Norris Trophy and Hart Trophy as league MVP in the same season. Answer: Harvey's teammate, Tom Johnson, who spent much of his career as Harvey's defense partner. Harvey was hurt much of this particular season.
- How many Norris Trophy winners have not been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (excluding active players Lidstrom, Chara, Duncan Keith and Chris Pronger, as well as Scott Niedermayer and Rob Blake, who are not yet eligible for HHOF voting). Only two - Randy Carlyle and Doug Wilson.