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Lady Byng finalists: Datsyuk, St. Louis, B. Richards

Pavel Datsyuk

Detroit Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk poses with the Frank Selke Trophy, awarded to the top defensive forward, and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy,awarded for the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability, at the National Hockey Legue awards in Las Vegas, Thursday, June 18, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Ryan Remiorz)


It was recently announced on NHL Live that Pavel Datsyuk, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards are the finalists for the Lady Byng trophy. Datsyuk has the opportunity to be the first player to ever win it five times in a row and would also be among the most frequent winners of the award (Frank Boucher is the all-time winner with 7, Wayne Gretzky has five.)

The frequently mocked (largely but not solely because it has “lady” in its title) trophy is given to a honor a player who personifies “skillful and gentlemanly play.” What that usually comes down to is a guy who combines high point totals, a general “nice guy” air and minimal penalty minutes.

Pavel Datsyuk has won it four years in a row. He had 70 points and 18 PIM this season.

Martin St. Louis had 92 points and 12 PIM. He’s also often considered among the league’s nicest fellows. More points and less PIM? If sports writers didn’t enter these votes as quickly and thoughtlessly as someone fills out a teacher’s evaluation, I’d wonder if St. Louis might finally “dethrone” Datsyuk.

Brad Richards had 91 points and 14 PIM. Richards had a great bounce-back year but also gets paid huge gobs of money. Somehow I feel like that hurts him in any evaluation.

So, what do you think, sports fans? Who’s the most “Lady” like?