by PuckStopsHere on 11/05/11 at 03:26 PM ET
It is about a month into the season and I am still picking the early leaders for the various awards. Today I am looking at the Lady Byng Trophy that combines sportsmanship and playing ability. I think the early leader is Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings. He currently has 14 points in 12 games and is yet to record a penalty minute.
Kopitar has established himself as a frontline player in the NHL for several years. He has been playing at or near point per game level for most of his five year NHL career. His career best of 81 points was scored in 2009/10. He has always been a sportsmanlike player who has never had more than 32 penalty minutes in a season. It is kind of surprising that a player of his ability with his sportsmanship record hasn’t been more of a Lady Byng contender in the past. It is possible that this could be the year.
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