Rod Langway, captain of the Washington Capitals, won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman yesterday.

Langway, traded to Washington from Montreal last September, led the Capitals to their first playoff appearance.

Langway expressed surprise he was even considered for the award, because "there are too many good defensemen around to think you're the best."

"I've never been in a situation like this before," he said. "It's a great reward, an honor, for the team and for me."

He received 24 first-place picks and 180 points, followed by Mark Howe of Philadelphia with 13 and 155.

There were other award winners yesterday, chosen by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

To the surprise of no one, Wayne Gretzky was the league's most valuable player--again--marking the first time a player has won the Hart Trophy four consecutive years.

Pete Peeters, Boston's league-leading goalie, won the Vezina Trophy for the NHL's best goaltender, as chosen by general managers of the NHL's 21 teams. Peeters' 2.36 goals-against average and 40-11-9 record made him a unanimous choice.

Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders won the Lady Byng Trophy, given to the player who best displays the combination of skill and sportsmanship.

The Calder Trophy for rookie of the year went to right wing Steve Larmer of Chicago. Bobby Clarke, the veteran center for the Philadelphia Flyers, won the Frank Selke Trophy, awarded to the league's best defensive forward.

The Hockey Hall of Fame also selected three new members yesterday: Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, formerly of the Chicago Black Hawks, and Ken Dryden, former goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens.