The Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship and general gentlemanly-ness is one of the more awkward NHL awards.
(I say "one of," because there is nothing more awkward than the forced presentation in which Mark Messier alone declares someone a leader in the name of a tire company. It's pretty awesome when you can achieve a station in life where your reputation for a subjective attribute is so hyped that both a league and a corporate sponsor are cool with you just going, essentially, "I think this guy deserves an award because he seems like a good leader. I'll be there at 5 p.m. for the announcement."
It's enough to make one wonder if this was how Kate Murray was selected Goodyear Town Of Hemsptead Supervisor And Chief Obstacle To Change.)
Anyway, the Lady Byng's ... ah, particularly subjective nature leads to votes being quite scattered, as they were in the poll of SB Nation hockey writers. Generally, people just look to good players who happen to stay out of the penalty box. Occasionally, special consideration is given to candidates of a pleasant demeaner who look like the type that would freely share their cookies with others.
For us biased homers and shut-ins, those last attributes are possessed by one and the same: With the exception of one vocal protest non-vote, Matt Moulson is our unanimous pick for the Lady Byng, compiling approximately 420 points through our home-grown voting process.
His 36 goals -- yet another 30+ season -- in 82 games with just six minutes in penalties (four of them on the same play while defending a teammate) were too much for a homer to overlook.
And while Moulson took some ribbing from teammates about the strength of his candidacy, at least he gets a free trip to Vegas.
How We Voted: Lady Byng
Mark D.: Moulson
I was going to write a reason for this, but then ...
The mind blowing thing about Matt Moulson is, if not for a double minor against the Flames in late December, Moulson would have been whistled for ONE penalty all season, including zero in the whole year of 2012. That's the thing that puts Moulson over the top. Campbell's season was equally impressive being he's a d-man and you would think there'd be some kind of penalties called on him in front of the crease over the course of season. 6 PIM on a defenseman is some kind of feat. Nielsen's omission can only be because the NHL didn't want two Islander finalists.
Islanders' Lady Byng: Nielsen gets it only because Moulson gets the big prize. Give the thug some recognition.
Mike B.: 1. Matt Moulson; 2. Brian Campbell; 3. Jordan Eberle
Homer vote. Any of these guys would probably be a good choice.
PGI: 1. Moulson. 2. Campbell. 3. St. Louis.
Homer or no homer, you score 36 goals, mostly within 5-6 feet of the net, and come away with SIX PIMs in a season, you get the Byng. Same sorta applies to St. Louis, who brings the goals and the fire but keeps it clean every year. Good for Campbell getting the rare vote for a defenseman. Haven't seen much of Eberle, but he seems like a fine, upstanding young man.
ISLANDERS LADY BYNG: Moulson. A true role model.
Dominik: 1. Moulson; 2. Frans Nielsen; 3 Brian Campbell
If I were honest, I'd be impressed by Campbell's low PIM from the defenseman position, since D-men naturally take more penalties (mostly because they are lower life forms than centers, and they react to stress by breaking things). But I can't watch Moulson take a beating night after night while taking one minor during the run of play and not give him my meaningless vote. In fact, under my rules of decorum, his double-minor for defending a teammate may have been the most gentlemanly act of them all, symbolically saying, "Good sir, I am willing to jeopardize my Lady Byng for you."
Islanders Lady Byng: Obviously Moulson, but I throw Nielsen in there because blessed are the Danes, they shall inherit the Byng.
ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles: ABSTAINS IN PROTEST
For about a year now, the Islanders organization has refused to make its players and management available for questions by one of our most important insiders. Out of respect for my fellow press member, I respectfully decline to vote for the end of season awards. Islanders management has to understand that when one of us is silenced, all of us are silenced. Especially when it's a figure as important as... Katie Strang.
When Ms. Strang was mysteriously removed from the Isles' sole beat writing position (oh, like she would have gone to a tiny publication such as ESPN on her own volition??), they silenced the only person who was willing to ask the hard questions. Who out there amongst us has the contacts inside the organization who can pull off such important questions as how well Tavares felt he played last night, or... how well Mark Streit felt he played last night?
A powerful, important voice has been silenced. And I, for one, will shine a light on this atrocity by making myself silent during this voting. I think everyone can understand how this makes sense, so I won't insult your intelligence by explaining it here.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
It's not every day you see someone give up their right to a Lady Byng vote, but sometimes altruistic principle must override the needs of the self.
While We're Voting