Auston Matthews favorite to win Lady Byng Trophy

auston matthews
Auston Matthews (Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin, and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon are the three finalists for the NHL’s Lady Byng Trophy for the 2020-21 season.

The Lady Byng is presented annually to the player who combines sportsmanship and fair play in conjunction with a high skill level.

History: Lady Byng, wife of Canada’s Governor General at the time, presented the Lady Byng Trophy during the 1924-25 season. After Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers won the award seven times in eight seasons, he was given the trophy to keep and Lady Byng donated another trophy in 1936. After Lady Byng’s death in 1949, the NHL presented a new trophy, changing the name to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.

NHL Media

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Auston Matthews favorite to win Lady Byng Trophy

Matthews, 23, won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy this season after scoring an NHL-leading 41 goals in 52 games. He also received 10 penalty minutes, which were the second-fewest among the NHL’s top 25 scorers, behind only the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin, who logged six penalty minutes in 42 games.

auston matthews lady byng
May 22, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoff at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Slavin, 27, took just one penalty – a two-minute minor – in 52 games this season while averaging 22:59 of ice time per game. The six-year veteran has amassed just 60 penalty minutes in his 429-game NHL career.

Spurgeon, 31, took just three minor penalties in 54 games while averaging 22:05 of ice time. Spurgeon has recorded no more than 20 penalty minutes in a single season in his 11-year career.

Slavin and Spurgeon are first-time Lady Byng finalists while Matthews finished second in last year’s voting.

The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Stanley Cup semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.

–Field Level Media