Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders and Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning have been named the finalists for the 2013 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."
Kane, 24, had just eight penalty minutes this season despite averaging 20:03 of ice time per game. By spending so much more time on the ice this season, it allowed him to score 23 goals in 47 games, the same number he scored in 82 games last season. Kane was whistled for a hooking penalty Jan. 26 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and then didn't take another for 25 games -- a boarding penalty against the Los Angeles Kings on March 25.
"Anytime you're up for an award it's exciting," Kane said. "I thought maybe I had a chance at this one. I think it kind of speaks volumes of where my game has gone since my rookie season. I used to take a lot of penalties that were kind of unnecessary. I kind of got that out of my game a little bit. I'm definitely happy about it. It's an honor for sure."
Kane would be the ninth Blackhawk to win the Lady Byng, but first since Stan Mikita won it back-to-back in 1967 and 1968.
Moulson, 29, was a finalist last season when he had six penalty minutes in 82 games. This season he had four penalty minutes while finishing second on the team with 44 points and third with 15 goals. He played 47 of 48 games while averaging 19:09 of ice time per game, second among Islanders forwards. Moulson was whistled for two minor penalties in a three-game span in early February, then played the final 37 games without visiting the penalty box.
Two-time winner St. Louis had 14 penalty minutes while posting a League-high 60 points. He made one trip to the penalty box in the first two months of the season, two trips in March and three in April. He's bidding to become just the third player in NHL history to win the Lady Byng and Art Ross trophies in the same season. The only players to accomplish that double are Wayne Gretzky (1994) and Mikita (1967-68).
St. Louis also is bidding to become the ninth player to win the Lady Byng at least three times, joining Frank Boucher (seven times), Gretzky (five), Pavel Datsyuk (four), Red Kelly (four), Bobby Bauer (three), Bossy (three), Alex Delvecchio (three) and Ron Francis (three).
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK