The NHL has announced the winner of another major regular season award. James Slavin of the Carolina Uragani has been attributed and Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, given “To the player judged to have exhibited the best kind of sportsmanship and gentle behavior combined with a high standard of playing ability.”. Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jared Spurgeon of the Minnesota Wild were the other finalists.
Slavin, 27, received 73 of the 100 votes in first place after recording just a minimum penalty in 52 games. He also became only the fourth defender to win the award and the first since Brian Campbell in 2012. Slavin averaged nearly 23 minutes a night for hurricanes, carrying a heavy defensive load per night. His career-low two-minute penalty is incredibly even a little expected by a player who has never collected even 20 in a single season.
The first five were rounded off by the winner of the Selke Trophy Alexander Barkov and the star of the Rangers Artemi Panarin. Fifty-seven players in all received at least one vote, but Slavin was included in all 100 polls. The escaped winner finished well ahead of second-place Spurgeon, who received only one first-place vote but 17 second-place votes.
This is the first regular season major award for Slavin, who finished fourth in Lady Byng’s vote and fifth in the Norris Trophy voting a year ago.