How Jiri Hudler won the 2015 Lady Byng Trophy

Greg Wyshynski
Calgary Flames' Jiri Hudler, from the Czech Republic, skates onto the ice during team introductions for an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, in Calgary, Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

Jiri Hudler of the Calgary Flames won the 2015 Lady Byng Trophy, and accepted the award without wearing any shoes. Which was the most Vegas thing that happened during the NHL Awards on Wednesday night. At least on camera (We assume Jarret Stoll was somewhere in the bathroom.) 

Hudler said his shoes were too stiff so he had to take them off. 

I hate this award for many reasons, most prominently because I think it rewards things that are the antithesis of what I love about this hard-scrabble game of ours; and because it’s been a de facto “who has the best stats and the lowest penalty minutes” award as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

But it’s not presented by Mark Messier or sponsored by Bridgestone, so it’s not all bad

"I know Wayne Gretzky won it 5 times. I know it started in 1925." Hudler said. "And, I know I'm the first Czech player to win it and that is all I care about."

From the NHL: 

Hudler polled 700 voting points, including 52 first-place tallies, for a tight win over four-time Lady Byng Trophy winner Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, who collected 648 voting points.

Hudler finished eighth in the NHL scoring race and established career highs in goals (31), assists (45) and points (76), helping the Flames qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009. Hudler tallied 23 points in March, when the team jumped from the outside of the playoff picture into third place in the Pacific Division. It marked the most points by any player in a calendar month this season and the most by a Flames player since December 2006 (Jarome Iginla: 10-16--26). A first-time NHL Trophy finalist, Hudler was assessed just 14 penalty minutes all season, fewest among the League’s top 20 scorers.

This is how the voting broke down:

 Daniel Sedin? Gentleman. Henrik Sedin? [Expletive], apparently.

My ballot: 

1. Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames

2. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

4. Ryan O’Reilly, Colorado Avalanche

5. Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

C'mon, the kid's parody account is Boring Sean Monahan. How is that not Byng worthy?

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