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 20 year veteran, has been nominated for the Norris trophy 12 times in a 14 year span. 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? 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.
- Name the only two defensemen to win both the Norris Trophy and Hart Trophy as league MVP in the same season. Bobby Orr, who won both trophies in the 1969–70, 1970–71 and 1971–72 seasons, and Chris Pronger, who won the Hart and Norris in the 1999–2000 NHL season.
- How many Norris Trophy winners have not been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (excluding active players Lidstrom, Chara, Duncan Keith, Chris Pronger and P.K. Subban, as well as Rob Blake, who becomes eligible for HHOF voting this summer). Only two - Randy Carlyle and Doug Wilson.