The NHL is slowly releasing the list of award finalists, announcing today the three players who could see their names engraved on the Lady Byng trophy for being excellent guys in addition to being excellent players.
One of the three is the Flames’ own Sean Monahan, whose 2018-19 campaign featured plenty of goalscoring with few trips to the penalty box, the two things that help win this award.
Your 2019 Byng Finalists: Barkov (FLA), Monahan (CAL) & O’Reilly (STL)
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 18, 2019
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who “exhibit[s] the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” and voted on by the PHWA, is generally won by a great player who also keeps his PIMs low. Monahan’s resume fits that to a tee, finishing the season with 82 points in 78 games and just 12 penalty minutes.
FlamesNation profiled Monahan as a potential Lady Byng candidate during the all-star break, and he solidified his campaign since then by picking up 21 points and just two penalty minutes in the final quarter of the season.
He is competing with Aleksander Barkov (96 points in 82 games played, eight PIMs) of the Florida Panthers, and Ryan O’Reilly (77 points in 82 games played, 12 PIMs) of the St. Louis Blues for the honour. It’s stout competition for sure, as both players were finalists for the award last season, losing to Vegas’ William Karlsson.
Monahan has received votes for the Byng before, finishing fifth in 2014-15 and 14th in 2015-16, though this is the first time he’s been named a finalist for the award. Previous Flames winners include Joe Mullen (1986-87, 1988-89), Jiri Hudler (2014-15), and Johnny Gaudreau (2016-17).
The NHL awards ceremony takes place June 19.