NEW YORK (April 24, 2008) -- Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, Buffalo Sabres right wing Jason Pominville and Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis are the three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy in 2007-08, the National Hockey League announced today. The trophy is awarded to the player who has "exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters announced as finalists. The winner will be announced Thursday, June 12 during the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special, which will be broadcast live throughout Canada on CBC and the United States on VERSUS from the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto.
Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy:
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay LightningSt. Louis is a Lady Byng Trophy finalist for the third time, having finished runner-up to Datsyuk in last season's balloting and third in 2004. St. Louis reached the 80-point plateau for the third time in the past four seasons, finishing second on the Lightning in scoring with 83 points (25 goals, 58 assists) in 82 games. He led the Lightning in assists and shorthanded goals (two), tied for the club lead in power-play goals (10) and topped all NHL forwards in ice time for the second consecutive season, logging an average of 24:17 per game.
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Voted the Lady Byng winner in 2006 and 2007, Datsyuk could become the first player in more than 70 years to capture the award three consecutive times. The New York Rangers' Frank Boucher won the Lady Byng Trophy from 1933 through 1935, capping a run of seven Byng trophies in eight seasons. Datsyuk finished fourth in the NHL scoring race with a career-high 97 points (31 goals, 66 assists) in 82 games and led all NHL players with a +41 rating. He led the club in scoring for a third consecutive season, matching the feat of franchise greats Ted Lindsay, Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman.
Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres
Pominville, who completed his second full season in the NHL, is a first-time League trophy finalist. He placed near the top of the NHL scoring charts after the All-Star break, notching 42 points over his final 34 contests; only Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin (49), Washington's Alex Ovechkin (47) and Sabres linemate Derek Roy (44) tallied more. Pominville finished the season with a career-high 80 points (27 goals, 53 assists) in 82 games and led the Sabres in assists and plus-minus (+16). Underlining his strong two-way game, Pominville tallied 25 of his 27 goals at even strength (24) or shorthanded (one).
Lady Byng, wife of Canada's Governor-General at the time, presented the Lady Byng Trophy to the NHL in the 1924-25 season. After Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers won the award seven times in an eight-year span, he was given the trophy to keep and Lady Byng donated another trophy in 1936. After Lady Byng's death in 1949, the League presented a new trophy in her memory.
The NHL is the process of announcing the three finalists for each of its awards. The upcoming announcement schedule:
Friday, April 25: Frank Selke Trophy (outstanding defensive forward)
Tuesday, April 29: Hart Trophy (most valuable player to his team)
Wednesday, April 30: Jack Adams Award (outstanding coach)
Previously Announced Trophy Finalists
Vezina Trophy (outstanding goaltender)
Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose Sharks
Norris Trophy (outstanding defenseman)
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
Dion Phaneuf, Calgary Flames
Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year)
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks