Dallas Stars left wing Loui Eriksson
has been named as a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, it was announced today by the NHL. He follows Brad Richards in becoming the second Dallas Star to be named a finalist for the prestigious trophy in the past two years. No Dallas Star has ever won the Lady Byng Trophy.
The winner is selected in a poll by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay (last year’s winner) and Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit were the other two finalists for the award.
Eriksson was excited after being told he was a finalist for the trophy.
“It is always fun to be recognized for something like this, I don’t really take a lot of penalties when I am out there,” said Eriksson. “I try to play my game when I am on the ice; I am not the guy that usually sits in the penalty box and that is how I have been playing since I started playing hockey.”
The 6-3, 193-pound forward was the only NHL player in the top 200 in scoring to have under 10 penalty minutes in 2010-11. He only took four minor penalties for eight penalty minutes in his 79 games played this season.
Over the past couple years, Eriksson has grown into one of the premiere forwards in the league, ranking tied for 18th in NHL scoring this season with 73 points (25 goals, 46 assists), as he has increased his point total each year he has been in the league. Much of his improvement can be linked to the help of his linemate and center, Brad Richards.
“I have been playing with Richards since he got here. He helped me a lot with my game, talking to me and telling me what I should do and what I can improve on when I am out on the ice,” Eriksson said. “It is always nice to have a report from him on what I can do better. He has been in the league longer than I have so he helped me a lot with my game.”
Despite missing the playoffs, Eriksson had a career year in 2010-11. He and Richards both played in their first NHL All-Star Game as Eriksson posted a spectacular performance that caught the attention of the NHL on the national stage. He scored two goals and two assists for four points, including scoring the game-winner for Team Lidstrom in the contest.
The Goteborg, Sweden, native scored his 100th NHL career goal December 12 vs. Montreal and posted a career-high 10-game point streak from December 28 to January 17, collecting two goals and 10 assists for 12 points during the stretch. For Dallas he put up some very impressive numbers in his fifth NHL season by leading the club in game-winning goals (6), power play goals (10) and also ranked second on the club in points (73) and plus/minus (+10).
“The last couple of years here in Dallas have gone really well for me. This season was a good year for me personally,” added Eriksson. “I think Richie [Brad Richards] and I played very well in the beginning of the year and it carried through the whole season. It was great to play in my first All-Star Game and it was a lot of fun there.”
Eriksson will join the other nominees at the 2011 NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 22, at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. It will be the third-straight year the NHL has feted the best hockey players in the world at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Tickets to the 2011 NHL Awards are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com at www.nhl.com/awardstickets
and at the Pearl Concert Theater Box Office.