by PuckStopsHere on 01/09/12 at 09:51 AM ET
In early November I picked Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings as the Lady Byng Trophy leader. Kopitar is the top scoring player on the lowest scoring team in the NHL. Like the Kings, Kopitar hasn’t scored well lately. He only has one goal since mid-November. As a result, I am picking a new Lady Byng Trophy leader. He is Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers.
Campbell is the second highest scoring defenceman in the NHL with 33 points. His offensive success has largely come on the power play. While doing this, Campbell has only four penalty minutes.
It is very rare that a defenceman wins the Lady Byng Trophy. Red Kelly and Bill Quackenbush are the only defencemen ever to win the award. Kelly is the most recent defender to win in and that occurred in 1961. It has been over fifty years since a defenceman won the award. Defencemen, by the nature of their position, tend to take more penalties than forwards and thus are not considered as sportsmanlike. When a defenceman plays as well as Campbell is with as low a penalty total as he has, he should be seriously considered for the Lady Byng Trophy.
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