Scott Niedermayer of the New Jersey Devils broke Nicklas Lidstrom's three-year stranglehold on the Norris Trophy, winning the top defenceman award in his first time as a finalist. Niedermayer anchored the Devils defensive corp in 2003-04, taking over the captaincy mid-season when Scott Stevens was injured. He would lead all Devils players in average ice time per game (25:53) and recorded the second highest point total of his career (54) to finish second among NHL defencemen in scoring, as well as in assists (40). Niedermayer finished with a +20 plus/minus rating and helped New Jersey set a new NHL record with a meager 164 goals allowed. The Norris runner-up was Ottawa's Zdeno Chara.