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Your Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Finalists

NEW YORK (July 16, 2020) – Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly are the three finalists for the 2019-20 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Trophy after the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals, with the exact date, format and time to be determined.

Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche

MacKinnon ranked fifth in the NHL with 35-58—93 in 69 games, 43 points more than his next-closest teammate, to lead the Avalanche into the playoffs for the third consecutive season. He also placed among the top 10 in the League in power-play points (4th; 31), assists (6th; 58), power-play goals (t-6th; 12), goals (9th; 35) and power-play assists (t-10th; 19), while topping the NHL in shots on goal (318). MacKinnon did so while registering a career-low 12 penalty minutes, the second-fewest among the League’s top 25 scorers; no other NHL forward averaged more time on ice (21:13) in 2019-20 while taking fewer penalties. The 24-year-old Halifax, N.S., native – who earlier this week was named a 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award finalist – is a Lady Byng Trophy finalist for the first time. He is seeking to become the third player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to win the award, following O’Reilly in 2013-14 and Joe Sakic in 2000-01.


Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs

Matthews finished third in the NHL with a career-high 47 goals, one behind Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy co-winners Alex Ovechkin and David Pastrnak, while also topping the Maple Leafs with a career-best 80 points in 70 games (47-33—80). Matthews – who added personal highs and ranked among the top 10 in the League in shots on goal (4th; 290) and power-play goals (t-6th; 12) – also established a career-low with eight penalty minutes, tied for the fewest among the NHL’s top 100 scorers. He did so while sharing second place in the League in takeaways (78) and ranking eighth among NHL forwards in total time on ice (1,467:52), also both personal bests. The 22-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native – who captured the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2016-17 – is vying to become the eighth different player to win the Lady Byng Trophy with the Maple Leafs and just the second to do so in the expansion era (since 1967-68), following Alexander Mogilny in 2002-03.


Ryan O’Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues

O’Reilly led the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blues with 12-49—61 in 71 games to power the team to the highest points percentage in the Western Conference (.662; 42-19-10). He topped the NHL in both face-off wins (880) and face-offs taken (1,556), ranking 10th among qualifying players with a 56.6 face-off winning percentage. O’Reilly received five minor penalties (10 PIM), the sixth time in his 11 NHL seasons he has totaled 10 or fewer penalty minutes, while ranking seventh in the League in takeaways (69) and 10th among NHL forwards in total time on ice (1,460:45). The 29-year-old Clinton, Ont., native – who previously won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2013-14 (w/ COL) – is a finalist for the award for the third straight season, following second-place finishes in both 2018-19 (w/ STL) and 2017-18 (w/ BUF). He is looking to become the fourth player to capture the trophy with the Blues, joining Phil Goyette (1969-70), Brett Hull (1989-90) and Pavol Demitra (1999-2000).

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TreKronor's avatar

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly

They certainly don’t look at what the players do off the ice for this award, do they.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/16/20 at 02:25 PM ET


Was going to say the same, Tre.

Out of the entire league, they can’t find
a third guy whose overall character, decency,
and maturity don’t better represent these values?

They have to choose manchild who scares the daylights
out of a female security guard, gives her the impression he’s going
to force his way into her vehicle at night when she’s alone
- and then with the help of his family, money, and celebrity
connives to cover it up and make it go away, and doesn’t even
have the responsibility to inform his team?

No thanks.

One of my least favorite players in the entire league.
Doesn’t seem like he conducts himself with much maturity
or patience with the media either. Hasn’t proven he’s any kind
of winner on the ice when it counts. Absurd that many thought he should be
Leafs’ captain. It takes more than talent and ego to be a winner.

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/16/20 at 03:02 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Sometimes I think the NHL PR team is one of the best teams in sports.  They are patient and seem to find a way to let issues calm down.  Then the NHL gives the players a compelling story, award, or nomination for something heroic or great the person does.  Like, let’s erase the wrong they did now and really lay it on thick with how great a person this is.

I’m all for moving on, but some of this is just too much.  You can’t tell me there aren’t 10 more qualified players in the league than Matthews or O’Reilly.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/16/20 at 03:11 PM ET

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