Anze Kopitar Nominated for Lady Byng Award


Somehow it flew under the radar but the NHL has announced finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy on April 21st.

The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded to the NHL player judged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high-level of skilled playing ability.  The winner is selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.  Each voter rates their top five players in a point system that breaks down to 10-7-5-3-1.  Three finalists are announced, another voting round commences and the winner is decided by the player who accrues the most points.

A reciepent for the award has been selected every year since 1925 (with the exception of the 2005 lockout season).

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Last year the winner was Ryan O’Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche.

This year’s finalists are Los Angeles Kings All-Star forward Anze Kopitar, Calgary Flames Juri Hudler, and four time Lady Byng winner and Detroit Red Wings Super-star Pavel Datsyuk.

Datsyuk won the award four consecutive years in a row from 2006-2009.  Datsyuk also was nominated in 2010, eventually finishing third.

Datsyuk missed a significant part of the season due to injury but still managed to register 26 goals, 65 points, a +12 plus/minus and 8 penalty minutes in 63 games.  Datsyuk was one point shy of team leader Henrik Zetterberg who put up 66 points in 77 games.

Hudler is a first time Lady Byng finalist.  Hudler recorded 76 points and 14 penalty minutes this season, the fewest number of penalty minutes among the NHL’s top 20 scorers.

Anze Kopitar is also a first time Lady Byng finalist.  This is the first season that Kopitar has been nominated for multiple awards, as Kopitar is also up for the Selke Trophy.

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  • Kopitar finished the regular season leading the Kings in scoring for the 8th consecutive season in a row.  In 79 games Kopitar registered 16 goals, 48 assists, 64 points, a -2 plus/minus, and 10 penalty minutes.

    Kopitar will try to be the 4th player from the Los Angeles Kings to win the Lady Byng.

    Kings players have won a total of five times in two back-to-back years.  In 1977 Kings legend Marcel Dionne won his second Byng in three years, and the first for the Kings.  In 1975 Dionne won the award as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.

    In 1978 Butch Goring won the Lady Byng in his 9th season as a King.

    Then in 1991, 1992, and 1994 The Great One, Wayne Gretzky won the award in a Kings jersey.  Gretzky had won the award once before in 1980 as a member of the Edmonton Oilers and would go on to win again in 1999 – Gretzky’s last season – as a member of the New York Rangers.

    Anze Kopitar was chosen as an All-Star for his play during the season and is now up for two separate awards.  Known as one of the best centermen in the NHL and the world Kopitar is likely to bring home some trophys to Los Angeles.

    More award finalists will be announced by the NHL throughout the playoffs in the upcoming weeks.

    Feb 12, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) against the Calgary Flames in the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports