The Lady Byng Memorial trophy, as it is now known, is presented each year to the National Hockey League "player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."
Loui's stellar offensive play combined with just 8 PIM this season makes him the perfect candidate for the gentlemanly award. According to the NHL, 652 players in the league had more PIM's than Loui. He's the epitome of what people like to call "playing the game the right way," the Steve Ott might disagree.
Brad Richards was nominated for the award last year on this same day (April 21st).
Eriksson's chances up against the reigning recipient (St. Louis) and Lidstrom, who could be set to retire pending what happens the rest of the way in the post-season, are probably not stellar but I doubt this will be the last time he'll be nominated. As with all awards that are voted on, sometimes you have to get there a couple of times before they'll let you have one.
From the NHL's release...
Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars
Eriksson is a trophy finalist for the first time in his five-year NHL career. The 25-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden native played a strong two-way game for the Stars, leading the club in power-play goals (10) and game-winning goals (six) and placing second in scoring with a career-high 73 points (27 goals, 46 assists) and in plus-minus with a +10 rating. He posted a nine-game assist streak from Dec. 28 to Jan. 15, tied for the longest in the League this season. Eriksson received just eight minutes in penalties, the fewest among the League's top 50 scorers and by any player appearing in at least 76 games.
From the Stars... "It is always fun to be recognized for something like this, I don't really take a lot of penalties when I am out there," said Eriksson. "I try to play my game when I am on the ice, I am not the guy that usually sits in the penalty box and that is how I have been playing since I started."
Congratulations to the gentlest of Swede's, and good luck in the World Championships (and for the love of all that is holy, stay healthy)
Here's the full release:
Frisco, Tex. - The National Hockey League announced today that Stars forward Loui Eriksson has been named as a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability." Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis are the other finalists for the award.
Eriksson, 25, set a new career high in points (73) and assists (42) this season. He is the only player in the NHL this season to be ranked in the top 200 in scoring and have less than 10 penalty minutes. Eriksson was assessed four minor penalties this season for eight penalty minutes in the 79 games he played this season. The Goteborg, Sweden native ranked tied for 18th in NHL scoring this season with 73 points (25g, 46a) as he has increased his point total each year he has been in the league. Eriksson played in his first NHL All-Star Game as he scored two goals and two assists for four points, including scoring the game-winner for Team Lidstrom in the contest.
"It is always fun to be recognized for something like this, I don't really take a lot of penalties when I am out there," said Eriksson. "I try to play my game when I am on the ice, I am not the guy that usually sits in the penalty box and that is how I have been playing since I started."
The 6-3, 193-pound forward scored his 100th NHL career goal December 12 vs. Montreal and posted a career high 10-game point streak from December 28 to January 17, collecting two goals and 10 assists for 12 points during the stretch, this season. In his fifth NHL season, Eriksson led the club in game-winning goals (6), power-play goals (10) and also ranked second on the club in points (73) and plus/minus (+10).