Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler and Anze Kopitar voted Lady Byng finalists

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 24: Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche poses after winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy during the 2014 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on June 24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 24: Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche poses after winning the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy during the 2014 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on June 24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

And your Lady Byng Memorial Trophy finalists are … 

Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Jiri Hudler of the Calgary Flames and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.

The award is annually given to “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” 

Generally, this ends up being some sort of combination of the best player with the fewest penalty minutes. 

So let’s break down the finalists as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association shall we?

Datsyuk had eight penalty minutes in 63 games played. Hudler had 14 penalty minutes in 78 games played. Kopitar had 10 penalty minutes in 79 games played. Datsyuk is a four-time winner of the award.

The NHL awards are June 24, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

As a voting member, I can say this is one of the hardest to pick, because the criteria is pretty loose and somewhat arbitrary. Last year’s winner was Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly who had two penalty minutes in 80 games played. His 12 penalty minutes in 82 games this year clearly put him in the goon category.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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