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Datsyuk is a Byng finalist again

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
NEW YORK -- 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:

Pavel Datsyuk: 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: 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).

Martin St. Louis: He's 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.

History: 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.

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