The writers making up the Professional Hockey Writers Association have spoken. And the top-three players left in the running for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for the 2021-22 season are Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor, Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin and Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon.
Although the winner will not be announced until the June NHL Awards show, the three finalists heard their names called on Wednesday. Typically held in Vegas, the NHL has opted to go a different route on a ‘one-off’ 2022 event, hosting the annual spectacle between games three and four of the Stanley Cup Final on the off day in the host city.
Alongside the Lady Byng Award, the Leadership award, King Clancy (most charitable), Jack Adams (best coach), Jim Gregory (best GM), Selke (best defensive forward), Bill Masterton (best comeback), Vezina (best goalie), Norris (best defenseman), Calder (best rookie), Ted Lindsay (MVP voted by the NHLPA), and Hart (MVP) Trophy winners will be announced on that evening.
Awarded annually, the Lady Byng is presented to the NHL player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability. The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy has been awarded 88 times to 53 different players since it was first awarded in 1925. The original trophy was donated to the league by Lady Byng of Vimy, then–viceregal consort of Canada.
The voting is conducted at the end of the regular season by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 10-7-5-3-1 points system.
Connor, 25, spent the past year stockpiling the goals, assists and points, while staying well clear of the penalty box. His 47 goals, 46 assists and 93 points were all career highs. His two penalties, accounting for four total penalty minutes was a career low.