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Lady Byng Finalists Announced

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
(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 Wednesday.

The Kings have had five winners of the Lady Byng trophy by three different players starting with Marcel Dionne in 1976-77, Butch Goring in 1977-78 and Wayne Gretzky three times, 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1993-94. Click here for a list of all Kings NHL Award Winners.

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.
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