BARKOV, ERIKSSON AND KOPITAR VOTED LADY BYNG TROPHY FINALISTS
Forwards Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers, Loui Eriksson of the Boston Bruins and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings are the three finalists for the 2015-16 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 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 2016 NHL Awards – hosted by actor Will Arnett – at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
Barkov established career highs in goals (28), assists (31) and points (59) – nearly doubling his production from his first two NHL seasons combined (24-36—60 in 125 GP) – to help the Panthers set franchise records for wins (47) and points (103) while capturing their second division title. He also established a career high and shared fourth place in the NHL with eight game-winning goals, the most by any Florida player since 2006-07. Barkov’s eight penalty minutes – in 66 games – were a career low and tied for the fewest among the League’s top 50 scorers. He is an NHL Trophy finalist for the first time and the Panthers’ first finalist for the Lady Byng since 2011-12, when Brian Campbell won the award.
Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins
Eriksson registered 30-33—63, his most points since 2011-12 (26-45—71), while playing in all 82 games for the fourth time in his career. He reached the 30-goal milestone for the second time (also 2008-09: 36), including his third career hat trick and first since the 2009-10 campaign. Eriksson received just six minor penalties and 12 total penalty minutes over the course of the season – only three players who appeared in at least 82 games posted fewer totals in either category. He is a Lady Byng finalist for the second time after finishing third in voting in 2010-11 (w/ DAL). Eriksson is looking to become the first Boston player to win the Lady Byng since 1981-82 (Rick Middleton).
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Kopitar (25-49—74 in 81 GP) led the Kings in scoring for the ninth consecutive season, the longest active such streak in the NHL, to help the team set a franchise record for wins (48). He also ranked second in the League with a +34 rating, matching a career high established in 2013-14. Kopitar totaled only 16 penalty minutes despite pacing NHL forwards in total time on ice (1,690:12) – an average of 20:52 per game. He is a Lady Byng finalist for the second straight campaign after finishing third in voting in 2014-15. Kopitar, who also was announced as a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, is attempting to become the first Los Angeles player to win the Lady Byng since 1993-94 (Wayne Gretzky).
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 NHL presented a new trophy, changing the name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The three finalists for NHL Trophies are being announced by NBC Sports in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA Sports in Canada during pregame programming for the Stanley Cup Playoffs through Saturday, May 7. The series of announcements continues on Sunday, May 1, when the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.
A full lineup of presenters and entertainment for the 2016 NHL Awards – as well as information on broadcasting, tickets, and hospitality and travel packages through PrimeSport – will be announced at a future date. In addition, fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.
* Information provided via NHL Press Release