Most of us would agree that it's pretty tough to quantify how well a defenseman plays, especially a stay-at-home, defense-only kind of player. Plus/minus has been shown time and time again to mean more or less nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Well, James Mirtle, Bloggologist, has given it a try. He calls it the "Rod Langway Award" after the last defenseman to win the Norris Trophy with fewer than 50 points. His methodology can be found here.
He ranks the top 20 defensive defensmen in the league so far this season. The top five are Henrik Tallinder, Nicklas Lidstrom, Adam Foote, Chris Pronger and Derek Morris.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, there isn't an Avalanche d-man anywhere to be found in his top 20. But it's not all bad, because he lists the bottom ten and there aren't any Avalanche players there, either. Dion Phaneuf is in the bottom ten, but no Colorado boys.
I'd like to know where the Avs who qualify for the rankings actually fall. And really, I'm pretty shocked that Scott Hannan isn't down at the bottom of the list. Maybe he's eleventh-worst.
UPDATE: HA! I was right. Says Mirtle:
Hannan's 11th worst, right after Beauchemin. Brett Clark's in the middle somewhere.