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Richards a Finalist for Lady Byng Trophy

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

Stars center Brad Richards has been named as a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy, which is awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis are the other finalists for the award.

Richards tied his career-high in points (91) this season and fell one assist shy from tying his career best in assists (68). He won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2004, shortly after capturing the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Richards also was a runner-up to Datsyuk for the award in 2006. Seventh in the League in scoring this season and fourth in the NHL in assists, Richards was assessed only 14 penalty minutes while playing an average of 20:51 per game and appearing in 80 games. Consistently among the League’s least penalized and most productive players, Richards was named to the 2000-01 All-Rookie Team and won the 2004 Conn Smythe Award as playoffs MVP while never amassing more than 32 PIMs in any of his nine NHL seasons.

“It’s definitely an honor to be named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy,” Richards said. “I’ve been fortunate to win it the past and be a runner-up as well.”

He finished the 2009-10 season just two points shy of tying Mike Modano for the single-most productive season by a Dallas Star (93 points in 1993-94). Richards recorded 6-13-19 points in his last 15 games, 7-18-25 points in his last 21 games and 18-53-71 in his last 63. He recorded a team-high six-game assist streak (Mar. 27-Apr.8, 3-6-9) as well as a team-high-tying eight-game points streak (Oct. 22-Nov. 7, 3-8-11).

Richards’ three assists in one period against Minnesota on Jan. 18, tied a franchise record. He finished second in the league in power play points (40), tied for second in power play assists (27), fourth in assists, and seventh in points. Richards’ 67 assists this season were the most ever by a Dallas Stars player and third best in franchise history.

Player                             Assists
N. Broten (85-86)          76
B. Smith (81-82)             71
B. Richards (09-10)       67

The members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.

Datsyuk is seeking to become the first player in League history to win five straight Lady Byng Trophies. He led Detroit in scoring for the fifth straight season and led the NHL in takeaways for the third time in the past four seasons with a career-high 132. He is also a finalist to win the Selke Trophy as the League’s top defensive forward for the third straight season. Datsyuk was one of only three of the League’s top 30 scorers this season who had fewer than 20 penalty minutes.

St. Louis has been the runner-up to Datsyuk for the Lady Byng Trophy the last three seasons. The Tampa Bay winger ranked sixth in the League in scoring with 94 points, the second-highest total of his 11-year NHL career. His 12 penalty minutes were the fewest among the League’s top 50 scorers and the fewest among the 88 players who appeared in all 82 games.

History of the Lady Byng
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 National Hockey League presented a new trophy, changing the name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

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