The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (formerly known as the Lady Byng Trophy) is presented each year to the National Hockey League (NHL) "player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."
The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy has been awarded 88 times to 53 different players since it was first awarded in 1925.
The voting is conducted at the end of the regular season by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 10-7-5-3-1 points system.
Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The trophy is named in honour of Marie Evelyn Moreton (Lady Byng), the wife of Viscount Byng of Vimy, a Vimy Ridge war hero who was Governor General of Canada from 1921 to 1926.
Lady Byng (who was an avid hockey fan) decided to donate the trophy to the NHL in 1925. She decided the trophy's first winner would be Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators.
Late in the season, Lady Byng invited Nighbor to Rideau Hall, showed him the trophy and asked him if the NHL would accept it as an award for its most gentlemanly player.
When Nighbor said he thought it would, Lady Byng, much to Nighbor's surprise, awarded him the trophy
After Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers won the award seven times within eight years, Lady Byng was so impressed that she gave him the original trophy to keep. Lady Byng then donated a second trophy in 1935–36.
When Lady Byng died in 1949, the NHL presented another trophy and changed the official name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
In 1962, the original trophy was destroyed in a fire at Boucher's home.
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy WinnersEdit
Because of Boucher's seven wins, the New York Rangers join Detroit as the only two clubs who have won the award fourteen times, followed by Toronto with nine wins, Chicago and Boston tied with eight and Los Angeles with five.
Five players have won both the Lady Byng Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP in the same season: Buddy O'Connor (1947–48), Bobby Hull (1964–65), Stan Mikita (1966–67 and 1967–68), Wayne Gretzky (1979–80) and Joe Sakic (2000–01).
Mikita is also the only player to win the Hart, Art Ross and the Lady Byng trophies in the same season, doing so consecutively in the 1966–67 and 1967–68 seasons.
Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull and Martin St. Louis also won these three awards, but not in the same season.
Bobby and Brett Hull are the only father-son combination to win the Hart and Lady Byng trophies.