The National Hockey League announced Friday that Martin St. Louis has been selected by the Pro Hockey Writers Association as the recipient of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is given to the player each season who exemplifies the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct on the ice while performing at a high ability and St. Louis has now won the award three out of the last four years.
“It is a great honor to be recognized in this way for the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, especially an organization that has so many great people involved” St. Louis said.
St. Louis, the only Lightning player to win the award besides Brad Richards in 2004, knows how to play tough and physical without spending much time in the sin-bin.
“I strive to play fast and physical, but try to avoid taking penalties that will hurt my team,” the 2013 Art Ross Trophy winner St. Louis stated.
You can see that the Lightning winger takes that to heart. Over the last five seasons, St. Louis has not finished a season with more than 16 penalty minutes while averaging over 20 minutes of ice-time in each of those five seasons. In fact the most penalty minutes St. Louis has racked up in a single-season is a mere 38 during the 2005-06 campaign.
“It takes a lot to get me frustrated,” the Lightning winger explained, “and throughout my years in the NHL I have learned to handle myself and not let the little things get to me.”
It really is quite amazing that a player can produce at such a high-level and battle as much as St. Louis, who was also nominated for this year’s Ted Lindsay Award for the league’s most outstanding player, while rarely visiting the penalty box.
Steven Stamkos knows that sometimes winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy means the player goes out there and tip-toes around and doesn’t want to get physical, but he says that isn’t the case with St. Louis.
“Marty is very physical and aggressive,” Stamkos explained. “He loves to get in on the forecheck, but the reason he doesn’t take a lot of penalties is because he plays the game so smart.”
St. Louis wealth of hockey knowledge makes him special to be around.
“It’s been awesome playing with Marty since the beginning of my career,” the former 60-goal scorer stated. “Marty has led by example, but we also talk a lot of hockey and he has been great to learn from.”
Just like Stamkos said, it needs to be noted that St. Louis didn’t win this award because he was not physical; he won this award because he plays smart.