The National Hockey League has been releasing the lists of award finalists each day, but the folks at Reddit noticed that the Minnesota Wild’s website jumped the gun and announced the award finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Award a day early. Whoops. (It’s since been taken down.)
Anyway, the Lady Byng is an award for the nice boys of the NHL: the players that combine a high level of play with not taking penalties. Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is one of the three nice boys who are finalists for the award this year, along with Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund and St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. The trio were top three in voting for the award, conducted among the membership of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Gaudreau had 61 points and just two minor penalties this season, which put him very prominently among a very short list of players with 50+ points and fewer than 10 penalty minutes. The list was Gaudreau and Columbus’ Brandon Saad.
Gaudreau has climbed the Lady Byng balloting during his three-year NHL tenure through a combination of amassing many points while avoiding time in the penalty box: he was 17th as a rookie in 2014-15 and fourth last season.
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy has been awarded to Flames players four times: Bob MacMillan in 1978-79, Joe Mullen in 1986-87 and 1988-89, and Jiri Hudler in 2014-15. This year’s winner will be unveiled on June 21 in Las Vegas.