The NHL won’t be altering its major trophies anytime soon.
That’s what ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported after discussing the idea of renaming the NHL awards — Hart, Norris, Vezina, etc. etc. — with commissioner Gary Bettman.
[Bettman] made it clear it is a no-go for him and the league. Yes, we’ve talked about it before and there are people in hockey ops that like the idea, to honor some of these great players and change the names to names fans have more of a recognition with.
But from Gary Bettman’s perspective, you’re messing with history and why open that can of worms? So for him it is absolutely a no-go, even with the 100th anniversary of the league coming around.
The renaming movement — which has been floated on a number of occasions (see here and here and here) — would see a more modern spin on the awards; as TSN’s James Duthie suggested in the Insider Trading segment, the Hart Trophy for league MVP could be re-named the Gretzky (he has nine, more than any player in history) and the Norris Trophy could be renamed the Orr (he has eight, more than any other blueliner.)
Though it had laid dormant for a while, idea of changing up the award came up recently after the passing of Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau. In January, the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek suggested renaming the Lady Byng award after Le Gros Bill, based on the fact that Beliveau truly embodied “the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”