Brad Richards Amongst Byng Finalists Tonight at 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas

The seemingly never ending cavalcade of NHL related news items continues on this busy week tonight in Las Vegas as the league will hand out the most unique and storied hardware in sports to the best of the best. Say what you like about hockey, but we do have the best hardware.

After a mediocre season at best, it's no surprise that Dallas Stars names and faces are a scarcity in Las Vegas tonight, but Brad Richards has managed to get himself nominated for the Lady Byng Trophy as an elite, "gentlemanly" player. Pavel Datsyuk has won the award 4 years straight, and Martin St. Louis has been runner up three times in a row now. Will St. Louis finally get his due or will Datsyuk's rein continue?

Puck Daddy hosted a mock-awards, voted on by 20 or so blogs. Defending Big D was chosen to participate and you can see our votes here. My name is attached, but all 4 of us discussed these choices. You may notice that we were the only ones that voted for Brad. May he have better luck tonight in Las Vegas.

Mike Heika has a good story on the Byng, with quotes from Richards and Nieuwendyk. He also reports that contract negotiations are all but non-existent with Richards at this time.

"It's just something that will be easier to do once we know the ownership situation,'' Nieuwendyk said.

With the Rangers ownership battle suffering lapse after lapse, with the possibility of bidding being re-opened not out of the question, one can't help but wonder if the Stars sale will take similar twists and turns pushing the Richards contract question into mid-season or beyond, and perhaps a rumor filled February with a trade deadline deal at the end of the path. Let's hope not.

Such scenario's could lead to these un-pleasantries I outlined earlier in the week.

Catch the awards tonight on Versus at 6:30pm.

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