The NHL announced the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy today. The Lady Byng Trophy 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 Nicklas Lidstrom and Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis are the other finalists for the award.
This is a great honor for Eriksson, who had a stellar year, setting career highs in points (73) and assists (42).
It’s also the second consecutive year the Dallas Stars have had a finalist in the running for the Lady Byng Trophy. Last year, Brad Richards was one of the finalists.
Here is the press release issued by the Stars:
Frisco, Tex. – The National Hockey League announced today that Stars forward Loui Eriksson has been named as a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial 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 Nicklas Lidstrom and Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis are the other finalists for the award.
Eriksson, 25, set a new career high in points (73) and assists (42) this season. He is the only player in the NHL this season to be ranked in the top 200 in scoring and have less than 10 penalty minutes. Eriksson was assessed four minor penalties this season for eight penalty minutes in the 79 games he played this season. The Goteborg, Sweden native ranked tied for 18th in NHL scoring this season with 73 points (25g, 46a) as he has increased his point total each year he has been in the league. Eriksson played in his first NHL All-Star Game as he scored two goals and two assists for four points, including scoring the game-winner for Team Lidstrom in the contest.
“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.”
The 6-3, 193-pound forward 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, this season. In his fifth NHL season, Eriksson led 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 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 22, during the 2011 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.
Lidstrom is a Lady Byng finalist for the first time in eight years and for the sixth time in his NHL career. He has never won the trophy, finishing second or third in the voting for five consecutive years from 1999 through 2003. Lidstrom enjoyed one of his most productive seasons, ranking second among NHL defensemen in scoring with 62 points (16 goals, 46 assists) in 82 games, highlighted by a career-best 11-game point streak. The Red Wings captain, who turns 41 on Apr. 28, assumed his usual heavy workload yet rarely saw the penalty box, receiving just 20 penalty minutes in a team-leading 1,924:25 of ice time.
St. Louis joins Lidstrom as a six-time Lady Byng Trophy finalist, all in the past seven seasons; he captured the award for the first time in 2009-10 after finishing second from 2007 through 2009 and third in 2004. The 35-year-old wing surged late in the season, tallying points in each of his last nine games and in 15 of his final 17 to finish second in League scoring with 99 points (31 goals, 68 assists). He tied a franchise record for assists in a season and posted the second-highest point total in his 12-year NHL career. St. Louis was assessed just 12 minutes in penalties, matching his career low set last year.
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.