For the past three seasons, Martin St. Louis has been a finalist for the National Hockey League's "most gentlemanly award" -- the Lady Byng.
...and that's happened yet again.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy, in a larger piece about the finalists, offers this reasoning for St. Louis' nomination:
Why Marty St. Louis Deserves the Byng: What do you do if you've been the runner-up for this award in three consecutive seasons? Offer to personally seat senior citizens at games? Take your yearbook photo with a kitten? Launch a smear campaign against Pavel Datsyuk ("I heard he once called him Chris Os-bad ...")?
St. Louis had 94 points and his 12 PIM were the fewest among the NHL's top 50 scorers (just edging outCorey Perry's(notes) 111 PIM). But more importantly, he displayed impressive professionalism in the face of constant adversity in Tampa Bay, refusing to publicly display any frustration during the regular season that might cause problems in the locker room. No, he waited until after the season to do that.
...And then says Datsyuk will win this thing. Again. Oh well...
We have video from NHL live after the jump, along with the official press release.
ST. LOUIS NAMED FINALIST FOR LADY BYNG TROPHY FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE SEASON
NEW YORK (April 21, 2010) -- Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Brad Richards of the Dallas Stars and Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2009-10 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability," the National Hockey League announced today.
The members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Datsyuk is seeking to become the first player in League history to win five straight Lady Byng Trophies -- New York Rangers legendary center Frank Boucher won it seven out of eight years from 1928 through 1935, including four straight seasons from ’28 through ’31. Brilliant at both ends of the ice, Datsyuk led Detroit in scoring for the fifth straight season and led the NHL in takeaways for third time in the past four seasons with a career-high 132. He is a finalist to win the Selke Trophy as the League’s top defensive forward for the third straight season. Datsyuk was one of only three of the League’s top 30 scorers this season who had fewer than 20 penalty minutes.
Brad Richards, Dallas Stars
Richards won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2004, shortly after capturing the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also was a runner-up to Datsyuk for the award in 2006. Seventh in the League in scoring this season with 91 points and fourth in the NHL with 67 assists, Richards was assessed only 14 penalty minutes while playing an average of 20:51 per game and appearing in 80 games. Consistently among the League’s least penalized and most productive players, Richards was named to the 2000-01 All-Rookie Team and won the 2004 Conn Smythe Award as playoffs MVP while never amassing more than 32 PIMs in any of his nine NHL seasons.
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
St. Louis has been the runner-up to Datsyuk for the Lady Byng Trophy the last three seasons. The Tampa Bay winger had a superb 2009-10 season, ranking sixth in the League in scoring with 94 points, the second-highest total of his 11-year NHL career. His 12 penalty minutes were the fewest among the League’s top 50 scorers and the fewest among the 88 players who appeared in all 82 games. The winner of the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in Tampa Bay’s Stanley Cup season of 2003-04, St. Louis has eclipsed 30 penalty minutes in a season only twice in a career that has seen him score 30 goals five times and appear in five NHL All-Star Games.
Lady Byng, wife of Canada’s Governor-General at the time, presented the Lady Byng Trophy during the 1924-25 season. After Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers won the award seven times in eight seasons, he was given the trophy to keep and Lady Byng donated another trophy in 1936. After Lady Byng’s death in 1949, the National Hockey League presented a new trophy, changing the name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The NHL will announce the three finalists for each of its awards daily. The remaining announcement schedule:
Thursday, April 22 Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie)
Friday, April 23 James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenseman)
Monday, April 26 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)
Tuesday, April 27 NHL Foundation Player Award (contributions to charitable causes)
Wednesday, April 28 Jack Adams Award (top head coach)
Thursday, April 29 Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)