93Sean Monahan Lady Byng
Photo Credit: Aidan Wong/FlamesNation

For Your Consideration: Sean Monahan for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

The Calgary Flames are in the midst of one of the best seasons in their franchise’s history. As a result, several of their top players are likely to be in consideration for major awards. At the NHL’s unofficial midway point, let’s assess the candidacy of Sean Monahan for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

The award

The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability. It’s named after Lady Byng of Vimy, 40th viceregal consort of Canada, who donated the original trophy to the league.

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The winner is determined by a vote of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.

Recent winners

  • 2017-18: William Karlsson (Vegas)
  • 2016-17: Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary)
  • 2015-16: Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles)

Last year’s voting leaders

(Voting points awarded on a 10-7-5-3-1 basis.)

Player Voting
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Pts PIM
William Karlsson (VGK) 915 57 32 15 12 10 78 12
Ryan O’Reilly (BUF) 654 38 11 23 23 13 61 2
Aleksander Barkov (FLA) 493 10 30 29 8 14 78 14
Anze Kopitar (LAK) 471 13 31 15 12 13 92 20
Jared Spurgeon (MIN) 202 6 8 10 10 6 37 8

Karlsson was the player in the top 25 in scoring with the fewest penalty minutes and won fairly easily. The general tendency in voting patterns has been to award a high scoring player (“high standard of playing ability”) that didn’t take a lot of penalties (“exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct”).

Defensemen do get votes, but usually on the lower part of the ballots. Two blueliners were in the top 10 in 2017-18 and one in 2016-17. Brian Campbell was the last defender to win it in 2011-12 (and that was the first time one won it since 1953-54). By nature of the position, it’s usually tough for prominent defenders to avoid taking a lot of penalties.

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Handicapping Monahan’s candidacy

In an ideal world, the Lady Byng would be determined by a mixture of productivity (points per 60 minutes) and low penalty minutes (per 60) or penalty differential (per 60). Of the top 50 players in points per 60 minutes (all situations, minimum 500 minutes played), the top players at avoiding penalties are Auston Matthews (0.1 penalties per 60), Tomas Hertl (0.21), Matt Duchene (0.24), Logan Couture (0.25), Alex Tuch (0.25) and Elias Pettersson (0.26). By this measure, Monahan’s competitive with 0.31 penalties per 60, but he’s not a runaway leader.

Monahan has 61 points (10th overall) and 10 penalty minutes – Artemi Panarin also has 10 penalty minutes, but has fewer points. Monahan plays a ton of hockey in key situations and doesn’t take a lot of penalties (and hasn’t developed a reputation as a dirty player). Based on how voters traditionally cast their ballots, he’s in great shape.

  • freethe flames

    Here is a question. When was the last time a lady byng winner also won the Stanley Cup in the same year? I love Monny’s game and it’s great he is up for a reward but if this team is to go deep into the playoffs he needs to a little Byng worthy and a little more Selke like.

  • Heeeeere’s Johnny

    Monahan has the fewest PIM’s in the top 20 scorers. Almost looks to be a lock. Trying to get excited but can’t. What if there was an anti-Byng trophy awarded to the player most exhibiting a high standard of orneriness combined with a high standard of play that Chucky could compete for? Who would we name it after? Geordie Howe (1850pts/1685PIM)? Mark Messier (1887pts/1912PIM)? I think my favourite is Brendan Shanahan (1354pts/2489PIM).

  • Getpucksdeep

    As long as Giordano takes the Norris Trophy I’m very content. It turns out NO Calgarian has ever won the Norris and that includes Al McInnes!!! Chopper won a Conn Smythe as a Flame but never the Norris. Every other major Trophy has been won at one time or another except the Norris. Go Gio!

  • Sven

    Long bitter memory but…

    One of the greatest snubs in NHL trophy voting history

    2001-02 Hart Trophy
    Voting results

    1. Jose Theodore, Canadiens (434 points; 26 first-place votes)
    2. Jarome Iginla, Flames (434; 23)
    3. Patrick Roy, Avalanche (282)
    4. Sean Burke, Coyotes (172)
    5. Markus Naslund, Canucks (64)

    Over the past 45 years, there have been 12 instances of a player leading the league in goals and total points in the same season.

    Wayne Gretzky did it five times.

    Mario Lemieux did it three times.

    Alex Ovechkin, Jarome Iginla, Guy Lafleur and Phil Esposito all did it once.

    In 10 of those instances, the player who did it also won the MVP award that season. The only two exceptions were the aforementioned Gretzky over Lemieux vote in 1989, and Iginla finishing as the runner-up to Jose Theodore in 2002.

    and Iginla lost after a Quebec based journalist gave his first place vote to Theodore –
    and left Iginla – the leading goal scorer and point collector in the league that year
    entirely off his ballot

    Come on Johnny G-

    Calgary needs a Hart

    • oilcanboyd

      Three of the top 4 vote getters were goalies; scoring was down in the league..so how was Teodore a standout?? Jarome was the only 50 goal scorer that season.

      that season…

  • Puck Head

    It would be nice to see Mony win a Byng as he quietly goes about his business and racks up points. The guy is a treat to watch and has great self control – I can’t imagine putting up with what he does and only having 10 penalty minutes.

    • KeepitReal

      He’s a portrait of self control and quiet leadership. The best example of recent times was when Keith Yandle absolutely tomahawk chopped Mony’s stick just as he got the EN goal. Mony’s stick was destroyed and his glove went flying. Mony quietly went over to his glove, picked it up and didn’t even give that idiot Yandle so much as a sideways glance.

  • Off the wall

    The talk about awards is great.
    There are so many deserving Flames this season thus far.
    Also Peters himself.

    But ask any of our players up for awards and they would be happy with the most coveted Silver Award- the Stanley Cup!

    Yeah, that’s the award I want our team to have!

    Is it time for hockey yet?

  • Off the wall

    Just to be a little different, I have decided to do an Award for this years members on FN. I appreciate coming here to discuss hockey with you folks.

    Why shouldn’t some of our members deserve recognition for their value to this forum?

    It’s called the OTW award. Trademark protected.

    It’s awarded to the member(s) who bring thoughtful dialogue and insights to this forum.

    Please be kind , this is about acknowledging members that we look forward to reading their comments and contributions.
    I’m ineligible- I’m presenting the award.

    Cast your vote!

  • MontanaMan

    Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is awarded to the player who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.

    Gentlemanly conduct in the game of hockey? Come on. They should create a new definition of this award.

  • aye

    Only one all-star, yet the team has frontrunners in Hart, Selke, Norris, and Lady Byng. Hopefully by the end BP will get the Jack Adams, and Chucky gets Conn Smyth, which likely means the Flames win the holy grail. So excited for the stretch run. GFG!

  • Lazarus

    Have always admired Monahan’s ability to not take penalties ever since day one. Smart player, and actually up and down the lineup we are lucky to have guys that don’t really take a lot of penalties. Gaudreau, Lindholm Janko..smart, reigned in players

  • Jobu

    Flames may get buried with trophies this year. If so I doubt Monahan will win this one.

    Also Jobu wouldn’t mind it if Sean got a little dirty once and a while.

  • Off the wall

    One last thing before I head to work. I’ve always been interested in how our members became Flames fans?

    I’m sure we all have our reasons. But it would be fun to share them.

    I wonder if we could do a blog about that.. perhaps after the season is over? Quiet times..

    What’d ya think FN?
    I’m sure we could all have some good times with this.

    A different member each day. Your own blog for a day. (edited by Ari- cuz none of us are real writers) sharing their thoughts about becoming a Flames fan?

    Good idea or not?!

    • Ari Yanover

      This sounds like a super fun offseason project! Hopefully the offseason is short but at some point when the season ends and we’re all done with our mourning/celebrating maybe we can get something started.

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        I was actually born a Habs fan. Dad would jump up on the coffee table and hit the ceiling when they scored. In 87-88 I was riding in car with dad and my brother. He said; “BTF 2.0, you shouldn’t go for Montreal just ‘ cause dad does, you should go for Calgary, they got a good team.” He was my big brother, so I said okay. Then I was with them for a cup, fell in love with Theo after and that was that. It was the best thing he ever did for me.

        He died at age 41. Cancer.

        Thanks, Jeff. I miss you.

    • Manginasal

      Oh I like that one.

      I became a flames fan in 1989.
      Lanny came into my Hospital room after winning the cup.
      He was cracking jokes & showing the cup to me.
      I wasnt impressed. I was too sick at the time but I never forgot the kind jesture.
      True story.

      When I really became a flames fan it was actually via WW.
      Willy and I were having our own real life ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and he was wearing these Calgary Flames socks.
      I thought they were sweet. He mentioned to me (in his own grumpy way) that his mom bought them.
      I told him no shame Willy. I wear yellow ducks on my socks so who am I to judge!?
      Then he took me to my first game and it was great.
      They lost that night but I enjoyed it so much that I became a casual fan until it became a fanatic fan.
      True story.. ..NOT!

  • freethe flames

    So what are peoples thoughts on how BP and BT should handle the team between now and the TDL? The Flames have 11 games between now and the TDL; they seem to be healthy and most of the little dings should have healed over the all start break. A number of areas for discussion come to mind:
    a. Handling Valimaki and the impact on the Dcore.
    b. Handling the goalies.
    c. Who should be the 12-14th forwards?

    Just some areas to think about as we wait for the season to get restarted.

    • Lazarus

      Let Valimaki play in Stockton, Kylington has played 187 AHL games and has proved he deserves to stay up for sure. Valimaki can play a lot down there and be first D up.
      Rotating Czarnik with Quine and maybe Rychel for the last 3 forward spots would be my choice. Let Lazar, Dube, Mangiapane keep playing down there a lot and bring one or more up later.
      Goalies Rittich starts, Smith backs up spelling Rittich as needed so neither is tired at playoff time. Good split so far really.

      • freethe flames

        Just so you know what I was thinking:
        a. I would probably have Valimai play with the Heat until the eastern road trip through Florida; that would give him 4 more games in the AHL and then would give BP and BT a couple of games to access him to determine if they need to add a veteran d. I’m being on the cautious side and not expecting Stone back.

        Like you I want to see Rychel and I would bring him back after the allstar break and play him on the 4th line left wing. At this point I think BP has a good feel for what Mangiapane, Dube and Quine bring to the table but I’m not sure what Rychel is as a depth forward and I would rather know this before the TDL and get caught up in all the waiver rules. If he played the 4 games before the Florida trip I think they would have an idea.

        I wold likely play Rittich 7 of the 11 with Smith getting Vancouver, Florida, Arizona and Ottawa.

      • Puck Head

        Agree but I wouldn’t be surprised if Czarnik is flipped at the trade deadline. I don’t think we have a lot of pieces to move but he still may have some perceived value. Could be bundled up in a bigger package. Guess we’ll find out soon…

        • freethe flames

          I agree about Czarnik; he was brought in to add some offence and I get that people are frustrated he is in and out of the line up/ But he has been given 2nd PP unit time and has played on the second line at times and while there are moments of optimism it just IMO is not there. I don’t see him being able to play in the bottom 6. If we could put him in a package it might reduce the draft pick cost to get an asset. It would not surprise me that the same thing could be said for Lazar or Mangiapne(I say this not because I have given up on him I just think he might have some value in a package).

          • Intercourse the Penguins

            After Vali gets a stint in Stockton I would like to see him reunited with Ras and Kylington played up on the rt wing. Put the best Flames on the ice. Go ahead trash away. You only hurt my feelings.

          • Brian McGrattan's Salute

            I totally get the frustrations with Czarnik. It would just be so different if he finished on all of his wonderful chances! Cuz I’m not sure we can argue that he hasn’t gotten them, right? He’s just not caching them in. Frustrating to watch.

            But honestly, he’s my #1 4lw. Him with Ryan and Hathaway have been absolutely dynamite as a forth line when they’ve played

  • Alberta Ice

    Mony Money Hands just quietly takes care of business with or without multiple injuries. Classy player indeed. Glad he is playing strongly with Johnny and Elias this year.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    Classy move by BP to bring Gaudreau’s pops on the bench. There was always talk about Johnny wanting to eventually play closer to home…but not so much lately. Johnny has been great to the organization but it goes both ways. The organization took a chance on Johnny. Johnny has rewarded the Flames with his stellar play. On the other hand, the organization has used Johnny as the centrepiece to build a contending team. They have provided him with a great supporting cast to help them reach their mutual goals. What could Johnny get moving to another organization…not much. I would not be surprised if Johnny still wants to play close to home for his next contract…but it Is looking more and more like home is Calgary.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I have never been that excited about the Lady Bing award. It shows great sportsmanship and self control but I much prefer Johnny’s grit this year to when he won the award. I would like to see this from Monny as well.

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    As to “gentlemanly” hockey I think the Flames are at or near the bottom of the league in penalties taken and hits given while having only two players out with injury ( both occurring at practice?). I love truculent hockey and a good fight on occasion but I like winning more.