2021 Lady Byng Finalists: Matthews, Slavin, Spurgeon

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Auston Matthews (forward, Maple Leafs), Jaccob Slavin (defenseman, Hurricanes), and Jared Spurgeon (defenseman, Wild) were named the three finalists for the 2021 Lady Byng Trophy on Saturday.

The PHWA votes on the Lady Byng Trophy, which is given to “the player voted best to combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct, and ability.”

Back in 2019-20, Nathan MacKinnon won the Lady Byng. His (very funny) helmet-throwing fine probably made that a no-go this season, though.

The winners of all of the 2021 NHL Awards will be announced during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 Second Round schedule, TV info]

The Lady Byng case for Auston Matthews: Along with winning the Maurice Richard Trophy with 41 goals, Matthews stayed out of the penalty box.

  • While averaging 21:33 TOI, Matthews was only whistled for five minor penalties. He’s only collected 56 PIM over five seasons in the NHL, and never had more than 14 PIM in a single season.

The Lady Byng case for Jaccob Slavin: Despite averaging 22:59 TOI per game (including averaging 2:43 TOI on the PK), Slavin took just one penalty during the regular season. His career-high for PIM in a season is just 18 (in 2018-19); otherwise he’s finished with no more than 12. More than a few people will be stunned if Slavin doesn’t win the 2021 Lady Byng Trophy.

The Lady Byng case for Jared Spurgeon: Spurgeon wasn’t far behind Slavin, though, mind you. While averaging 22:05 TOI per game, Spurgeon only took three minor penalties during the 2020-21 season.

NHL Award finalists announcement schedule:

Vezina Trophy: Marc-Andre Fleury, Philipp Grubauer, Andrei Vasilevskiy
Ted Lindsay Award: Sidney Crosby, Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid
King Clancy Memorial Trophy: Kurtis Gabriel, Pekka Rinne, P.K. Subban
Calder Memorial Trophy: Kirill Kaprizov, Alex Nedeljkovic, Jason Robertson
Sunday, June 6: Frank J. Selke Trophy
Monday, June 7: Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award
Tuesday, June 8: Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Wednesday, June 9: James Norris Memorial Trophy
Thursday, June 10: Hart Memorial Trophy
Friday, June 11: Jack Adams Award

More NHL News

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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

2021 Lady Byng Finalists: Matthews, Slavin, Spurgeon originally appeared on NBCSports.com