On Tuesday, the NHL announced that Patrick Marleau, Ryan O’Reilly and Martin St. Louis were the three finalists for the 2014 Lady Byng Trophy.
Awarded annually to “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” the Byng has been dominated by St. Louis recently, as he’s won three of the last four trophies and been a finalist in eight of the last 10 seasons.
This year, though, St. Louis should have some stiff competition.
Marleau played in all 82 games this year and averaged 20:31 TOI, yet racked up just 18 penalty minutes all season long. There was no drop-off in his offensive production, either, as Marleau scored 30 goals for the seventh time and finished second on the Sharks in scoring, with 70 points.
O’Reilly’s lack of penalty minutes was even more impressive. He was whistled for just one minor penalty all season, joining Butch Goring (1977-78, Los Angeles) as the only players ever to receive two or fewer PIM over 80 or more games. Like Marleau, O’Reilly also had a stellar offensive campaign, scoring a career-best 64 points while leading Colorado in goals, with 28.