NEW YORK -- Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly are the three finalists for the 2018-19 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," the National Hockey League announced today.
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 designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed Wednesday, June 19, during the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Aleksander Barkov, C, Florida Panthers
Barkov posted career highs across the board, collecting 35-61-96 in 82 games to rank 10th in the NHL and establish a Panthers record for points in one season (surpassing Pavel Bure: 58-36-94 in 1999 00). Florida's captain placed second in the League with 100 takeaways while receiving only four minor penalties and eight penalty minutes - the fewest among the NHL's top 50 scorers. He also played a career-high 1,833:01, second among League forwards, and logged a career-best 53.7 face-off winning percentage while taking the most draws of his six-season NHL tenure (1,939). The 23-year-old Tampere, Finland, native is a Lady Byng Trophy finalist for the second straight year and third time in the past four seasons after finishing second in voting in 2015-16 and third in 2017-18. He is vying to become the second player in Panthers history to win the award, following defenseman Brian Campbell in 2011-12.
Sean Monahan, C, Calgary Flames
Monahan also established career highs in the three major scoring categories, compiling 34-48-82 in 78 games to power the Flames to their first division title since 2005-06 and first conference crown since 1989 90. Monahan, who added personal bests in both power-play goals and points (12-11-23), did so while recording only six minor penalties and 12 penalty minutes - the fifth time he has totaled 20 or fewer penalty minutes in his six NHL seasons. He and linemates Johnny Gaudreau (36) and Elias Lindholm (27) combined for 97 of Calgary's 289 total goals, which shared second place in the NHL and also ranked as the team's most prolific offensive season since 1993-94 (302). The 24-year-old Brampton, Ont., native is a first-time NHL Award finalist and is attempting to become the Flames' third winner of the Lady Byng Trophy in the past five seasons; Jiri Hudler captured the award in 2014-15, followed by Gaudreau in 2016-17.
Ryan O'Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues
O'Reilly, who on Wednesday was named a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, also set career highs in goals (t-28), assists (49) and points (77) en route to helping the Blues become the seventh team in the NHL's expansion era (since 1967-68) to qualify for the playoffs after ranking last in the overall standings at any point after New Year's Day (minimum: 20 GP). O'Reilly, who appeared in all 82 games for the second time, led St. Louis with a career-high +22 rating while establishing a personal best in time on ice (1,702:13). The 28-year-old Clinton, Ont., native received only six minor penalties (12 PIM), marking the 10th time in as many NHL seasons that he has recorded fewer than 20 penalty minutes. O'Reilly, who won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2013-14 (w/ COL) and finished second in voting last season (w/ BUF), is seeking to become the first St. Louis player to capture the award since Pavol Demitra in 1999-00.
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 NHL presented a new trophy, changing the name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The three finalists for NHL Trophies are being announced by NBC Sports in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA Sports in Canada during pregame programming for the Stanley Cup Playoffs through Sunday, April 28. The series of announcements continues Friday, April 19, when the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.
2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone
The NHL Awards™ returns to Las Vegas this summer at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone will be held Wednesday, June 19, at Mandalay Bay Events Center. It marks the first year that the NHL Awards™ will be held at the resort's sports and entertainment venue as well as the first time that Bridgestone will serve as the presenting sponsor of the event. NBCSN and Sportsnet will broadcast the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone live in the United States and Canada, respectively, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Tickets to the 2019 NHL Awards™ presented by Bridgestone are on sale to the general public at www.nhl.com/awardstickets. This ticket opportunity is available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last.
This will be the 11th year of a successful partnership between Las Vegas and the League and the 10th time that the NHL will honor the best hockey players in the world and the top performances of the season in Las Vegas. Prior Las Vegas venues that have hosted the NHL Awards™ include Palms Hotel (2009-11); Encore at Wynn Las Vegas (2012 and 2014); MGM Grand Garden Arena (2015); The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (2016 and 2018); and T Mobile Arena (2017).
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment will be announced at a future date. Fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.