The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 10-7-5-3-1 points system. Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Lady Byng, wife of Canada's Governor-General at the time, presented the Lady Byng trophy in 1925. She decided the trophy's first winner would be Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators. Late in the season, Lady Byng invited Nighbor to Rideau Hall, showed him the trophy, and asked him if the NHL would accept it as an award for its most gentlemanly player. When Nighbor said he thought it would, Lady Byng, much to Nighbor's surprise, awarded him the trophy. 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 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. Besides Boucher, a number of players have won the award multiple times, including Wayne Gretzky who won it five times, Red Kelly with four wins, and Bobby Bauer, Alex Delvecchio, Mike Bossy, Ron Francis and Pavel Datsyuk with three each. Because of Boucher's seven wins, the New York Rangers have won the award the most out of any club, fifteen times, followed by Detroit with thirteen, Toronto with nine, Chicago and Boston tied with eight, and Los Angeles with five. No goaltender has ever won the award; Bill Quackenbush and Red Kelly are the only defensemen to do so, and no defenseman has won in over fifty years.
Lady Byng, wife of Canadas Governor-General at the time, presented the Lady Byng trophy in 1925. 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 Byngs death in 1949, the National Hockey League presented a new trophy, changing the name to Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
Season Winner Team Runner-Up
2012-2013 Martin St. Louis Lightning Patrick Kane
2011-2012 Brian Campbell Panthers Jordan Eberle
2010-2011 Martin St. Louis Lightning Nicklas Lidstrom
2009-2010 Martin St. Louis Lightning Brad Richards
2008-2009 Pavel Datsyuk Red Wings Martin St. Louis
2007-2008 Pavel Datsyuk Red Wings Martin St. Louis
2006-2007 Pavel Datsyuk Red Wings Martin St. Louis
2005-2006 Pavel Datsyuk Red Wings Brad Richards
2003-2004 Brad Richards Lightning Daniel Alfredsson
2002-2003 Alexander Mogilny Maple Leafs Nicklas Lidstrom
2001-2002 Ron Francis Hurricanes Joe Sakic
2000-2001 Joe Sakic Avalanche Nicklas Lidstrom
1999-2000 Pavol Demitra Blues Nicklas Lidstrom
1998-1999 Wayne Gretzky Rangers Nicklas Lidstrom
1997-1998 Ron Francis Penguins Teemu Selanne
1996-1997 Paul Kariya Ducks Teemu Selanne
1995-1996 Paul Kariya Ducks Adam Oates
1994-1995 Ron Francis Penguins Adam Oates
1993-1994 Wayne Gretzky Kings Adam Oates
1992-1993 Pierre Turgeon Islanders Adam Oates
1991-1992 Wayne Gretzky Kings Joe Sakic
1990-1991 Wayne Gretzky Kings Brett Hull
1989-1990 Brett Hull Blues Wayne Gretzky
1988-1989 Joe Mullen Flames Wayne Gretzky
1987-1988 Mats Naslund Canadiens Wayne Gretzky
1986-1987 Joe Mullen Flames Wayne Gretzky
1985-1986 Mike Bossy Islanders Jari Kurri
1984-1985 Jari Kurri Oilers Joe Mullen
1983-1984 Mike Bossy Islanders Rick Middleton
1982-1983 Mike Bossy Islanders Rick Middleton
1981-1982 Rick Middleton Bruins Mike Bossy
1980-1981 Rick Kehoe Penguins Wayne Gretzky
1979-1980 Wayne Gretzky Oilers Marcel Dionne
1978-1979 Bob MacMillan Flames Marcel Dionne
1977-1978 Robert Goring Kings Peter Mcnab
1976-1977 Marcel Dionne Kings Jean Ratelle
1975-1976 Jean Ratelle Bruins Joseph Pronovost
1974-1975 Marcel Dionne Red Wings John Bucyk
1973-1974 John Bucyk Bruins Lowell MacDonald
1972-1973 Gilbert Perreault Sabres Jean Ratelle
1971-1972 Jean Ratelle Rangers John Bucyk
1970-1971 John Bucyk Bruins David Keon
1969-1970 Phil Goyette Blues John Bucyk
1968-1969 Alex Delvecchio Red Wings Ted Hampson
1967-1968 Stan Mikita Blackhawks John Bucyk
1966-1967 Stan Mikita Blackhawks David Keon
1965-1966 Alex Delvecchio Red Wings Bobby Rousseau
1964-1965 Bobby Hull Blackhawks Alex Delvecchio
1963-1964 Kenny Wharram Blackhawks David Keon
1962-1963 David Keon Maple Leafs Camille Henry
1961-1962 David Keon Maple Leafs Claude Provost
1960-1961 Red Kelly Maple Leafs Norm Ullman
1959-1960 Don McKenney Bruins Andy Hebenton
1958-1959 Alex Delvecchio Red Wings Andy Hebenton
1957-1958 Camille Henry Rangers Donnie Marshall
1956-1957 Andy Hebenton Rangers Dutch Reibel
1955-1956 Dutch Reibel Red Wings Floyd Curry
1954-1955 Sid Smith Maple Leafs Danny Lewicki
1953-1954 Red Kelly Red Wings Don Raleigh
1952-1953 Red Kelly Red Wings Wally Hergesheimer
1951-1952 Sid Smith Maple Leafs Red Kelly
1950-1951 Red Kelly Red Wings Woody Dumart
1949-1950 Edgar Laprade Rangers Red Kelly
1948-1949 Bill Quackenbush Red Wings Harry Watson
1947-1948 Buddy O`Connor Rangers Syl Apps
1946-1947 Bobby Bauer Bruins Syl Apps
1945-1946 Toe Blake Canadiens Clint Smith
1944-1945 Bill Mosienko Blackhawks Syd Howe
1943-1944 Clint Smith Blackhawks Herb Cain
1942-1943 Max Bentley Blackhawks Buddy O`Connor
1941-1942 Syl Apps Maple Leafs Gordie Drillon
1940-1941 Bobby Bauer Bruins Gordie Drillon
1939-1940 Bobby Bauer Bruins Clint Smith
1938-1939 Clint Smith Rangers Marty Barry
1937-1938 Gordie Drillon Maple Leafs Clint Smith
1936-1937 Marty Barry Red Wings Gordie Drillon
1935-1936 Doc Romnes Blackhawks Sweeney Schriner
1934-1935 Frank Boucher Rangers Russ Blinco
1933-1934 Frank Boucher Rangers Joe Primeau
1932-1933 Frank Boucher Rangers Joe Primeau
1931-1932 Joe Primeau Maple Leafs Frank Boucher
1930-1931 Frank Boucher Rangers Normie Himes
1929-1930 Frank Boucher Rangers Normie Himes
1928-1929 Frank Boucher Rangers Harold Darragh
1927-1928 Frank Boucher Rangers George Hay
1926-1927 Billy Burch Americans Dick Irvin
1925-1926 Frank Nighbor Senators (1917) Billy Burch
1924-1925 Frank Nighbor Senators (1917)