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How Important is the Lady Byng Trophy?

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Old
12-13-2016, 08:56 AM
  #1
GMR
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How Important is the Lady Byng Trophy?

When you're evaluating a player's career merits, or comparing two different players, how much weight do you give to this trophy?

I know the trophy has a prestigious history and a lot of great players have won it, but I've never given much credence to the trophy. I don't rate players like Francis, Kariya or Datsyuk any differently than if they hadn't won the trophy.

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12-13-2016, 09:22 AM
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Well... back when the game was dirtier, and the best player in the league also dirty to a certain degree (it mostly went Shore - Richard - Howe for a stretch of 25 years at the very least, with an "empty" interim period between Shore and Richard), it could be understood as, basically, the best "clean" player in the game.

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12-13-2016, 09:24 AM
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"Important" is kind of a weird way to put it. I think players are genuinely proud to win the "You've got class" award, regardless.

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12-13-2016, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMR View Post
When you're evaluating a player's career merits, or comparing two different players, how much weight do you give to this trophy?

I know the trophy has a prestigious history and a lot of great players have won it, but I've never given much credence to the trophy. I don't rate players like Francis, Kariya or Datsyuk any differently than if they hadn't won the trophy.
I think it is really more anecdotal, interesting but no weight positively or negatively on it's own in terms of value as a player. How they played covers it in any case but it might shine a light on their career as to why they got it.

Mikita was an interesting case…winning it after really being a very chippy player.

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12-13-2016, 09:53 AM
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I'd say it's importance goes up in conjunction with how many times a player won it, and how good a player they were.

A one time Byng win probably counts for essentially zero in anyone's rankings. But it probably does provide a little bump to stars who were repeat winners. At the very least, it might serve as a tie-breaker between two players who were otherwise almost equal.

In a decade, I suspect you'll often hear a tag along the lines of "and they did it with class, as shown by their multiple Byngs" when describing players like St. Louis or Datsyuk.

The Byng is often considered a "joke" trophy amongst a certain segment of fans, but it's a pretty damned prestigious list of names who have been awarded it. These are often the players who you teach young kids, "play the game the way these guys did." For that reason alone, winning it should be considered a huge honor.

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12-13-2016, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overg View Post
I'd say it's importance goes up in conjunction with how many times a player won it, and how good a player they were.

A one time Byng win probably counts for essentially zero in anyone's rankings. But it probably does provide a little bump to stars who were repeat winners. At the very least, it might serve as a tie-breaker between two players who were otherwise almost equal.

In a decade, I suspect you'll often hear a tag along the lines of "and they did it with class, as shown by their multiple Byngs" when describing players like St. Louis or Datsyuk.

The Byng is often considered a "joke" trophy amongst a certain segment of fans, but it's a pretty damned prestigious list of names who have been awarded it. These are often the players who you teach young kids, "play the game the way these guys did." For that reason alone, winning it should be considered a huge honor.
I looked at the list of players who won it multiple times. I can honestly say that if those players never won it once, I wouldn't view them any differently. Francis would still be a classy player who isn't anywhere near a top all-time center, whether he won it or not. Gretzky certainly didn't need multiple wins to bolster his legacy. Did Mullen winning it multiple times get him into the HHOF? I doubt it.

Maybe the most interesting thing about this trophy is that Lidstrom never won it. A player everyone identifies with class and getting the job done without taking penalties. Yet he never got the trophy. Go figure.

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12-13-2016, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
"Important" is kind of a weird way to put it. I think players are genuinely proud to win the "You've got class" award, regardless.
That I definitely agree with. Everyone likes winning trophies. Hockey is a brutal sport with lots of macho elements, but I think everyone in the game respects the players that win this trophy. The players that win it are likely very proud to win it.

However, it's hard to take the trophy seriously when talking about a player's career merits, like you'd do with other trophies.

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12-13-2016, 10:15 AM
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Whenever the awards are announced, the Lady Byng announcement really does little but make me think, "Oh yeah, that trophy exists," and then I quickly move on.

Really doesn't cater into my thinking of any player, active or retired.

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12-13-2016, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMR View Post
Maybe the most interesting thing about this trophy is that Lidstrom never won it. A player everyone identifies with class and getting the job done without taking penalties. Yet he never got the trophy. Go figure.
Jean Béliveau never won it either. Based upon his current image, I bet most people would guess that he was a winner at some point in his career.

Haven't done the analysis, but I suspect the winners are simply the biggest 'names' and point producers with the fewest PIMs. The trophy might have a better image if it was given to players who play a physical game (and might have more penalties) but play it in a fair way.

It's pretty rare that a defenceman gets it.

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12-13-2016, 11:15 AM
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I always said that unless it is obvious choice like Datsyuk/St. Louis/Gretzky, it isn't working.


Each head coach should nominate one player from his own team, make a list of 30 candidates and then all players should vote on it.

It's not for press to decide who is better example of 'sportmanship'.

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12-13-2016, 12:06 PM
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It doesn't mean much today, and that's primarily the fault of the voters. It seems like they just look at the top 25 scorers, and pick whoever has the least penalty minutes.

There's been a lot of defencemen over the years who should've received more consideration for it, but they don't get the votes simply because they'll amass more PMs because of the nature of their position.

I like the suggestion of having the players vote on it.

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12-13-2016, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
It doesn't mean much today, and that's primarily the fault of the voters. It seems like they just look at the top 25 scorers, and pick whoever has the least penalty minutes.

There's been a lot of defencemen over the years who should've received more consideration for it, but they don't get the votes simply because they'll amass more PMs because of the nature of their position.

I like the suggestion of having the players vote on it.
Yeah.. I mean, if a 25+ mins guy end up around 20 PIMS nowadays, it probably means the guy is not only very disciplined, but also very good at "defense".

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12-13-2016, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Yeah.. I mean, if a 25+ mins guy end up around 20 PIMS nowadays, it probably means the guy is not only very disciplined, but also very good at "defense".
Makes you wonder how Bryan Campbell won this trophy. I wouldn't consider him "good at defense".

Also, Butch Goring should have more than one win. Guy played over 1,100 games and had 102 PIMs in his career.

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12-13-2016, 12:51 PM
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It's worthless.

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12-13-2016, 02:23 PM
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I like it in theory, but I think it means a lot less now that violence has been de-emphasized.

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12-13-2016, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Yeah.. I mean, if a 25+ mins guy end up around 20 PIMS nowadays, it probably means the guy is not only very disciplined, but also very good at "defense".
Yeah, I always wanted Bourque or Lidstrom to win. To play defense that effectively and also keep the PM's low is pretty amazing.

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12-13-2016, 05:05 PM
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I think it is a bit of a cherry on top. Important? It isn't something I ever use to judge a player's HHOF status. But it is a nice award. I don't know, somewhere along the lines the trophy has gotten the tag of being a "wimp" award. Alex Mogilny didn't even come to the NHL awards to accept it in 2003. I don't think there is any shame in winning it. There is a laundry list of players who have won it that can play on my team anyday of the week. Do people realize that three of the Big bad Bruins (Cherry's Bruins) won it at some point in their careers and were on the same team. They were Bucyk, Ratelle and Middleton. Bucyk is a good example of a guy who should win it. Was a fine bodychecker yet still a clean player. This is who the award should be going to. Gretzky winning it 5 times is fine also. No arguments there. No complaints. He played a clean game, we all know this. Bossy too. Or even a guy like Butch Goring winning it. A tenacious forechecker who never took a penalty.........barely.

You tell me, are these guys wimps?

Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Toe Blake, Johnny Bucyk, Alex Delvecchio, Dave Keon, etc.

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12-14-2016, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I like it in theory, but I think it means a lot less now that violence has been de-emphasized.
Agreed. Hockey's almost not barbaric or crude enough for the award to make sense these days. There might be 14 players in the top 20 in scoring right now who are peaceable and good enough sports to qualify. In 1987, by contrast, 3 of the top 5 point getters you could disqualify immediately (Messier, Gilmour, Lemieux...the latter wasn't dirty, but he was as disrespectful towards officials as anybody this side of Steve Downie).

When sporting play is so common among scorers, what are we even rewarding? Best guy who doesn't trashtalk? Why do we need an award for that?

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12-14-2016, 07:09 AM
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It's not important itself at all, but it may help to understand the player better.
For example, Datsyuk won not only Selkes, but also the Bings, what gives him advantage to my mind, because it's much harder to win both.

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12-14-2016, 07:46 AM
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The award would probably have been better served if it had just been 'the Byng' like 'the Hart'. The word 'Lady' doesn't help its cause at all...

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12-14-2016, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by DNA View Post
The award would probably have been better served if it had just been 'the Byng' like 'the Hart'. The word 'Lady' doesn't help its cause at all...
Hey, how many ladies got their own hockey card:


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12-14-2016, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overg View Post

The Byng is often considered a "joke" trophy amongst a certain segment of fans, but it's a pretty damned prestigious list of names who have been awarded it. These are often the players who you teach young kids, "play the game the way these guys did." For that reason alone, winning it should be considered a huge honor.
If it was awarded properly nowadays it might help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmagg View Post
I always said that unless it is obvious choice like Datsyuk/St. Louis/Gretzky, it isn't working.


Each head coach should nominate one player from his own team, make a list of 30 candidates and then all players should vote on it.

It's not for press to decide who is better example of 'sportmanship'.
... and some combination of this would help a great deal.

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12-14-2016, 02:01 PM
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Lady Byng Trophy.

Hold over from the pre forward pass, one five man unit with little substitution, when a complete minor penalty had to be served regardless of the number of PP goals allowed. Carried on thru 1955-56 after which the 2 minute minor expired once a PP goal was scored. So it was important to stay out of the penalty box and avoid single minors.

Today it is somewhat important with the new rule about defensive zone face-offs after penalties and the emphasis on the PP for scoring.

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12-14-2016, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNA View Post
The award would probably have been better served if it had just been 'the Byng' like 'the Hart'. The word 'Lady' doesn't help its cause at all...
To be fair, "Lady" was her name. Well, sort of. She was the Governor General of Canada's wife. Viscount Byng was a war hero in World War I. His wife wanted to donate the trophy to the NHL to the player that best exemplified gentlemanly play. So it does stem from a war hero, so that's tough.................it was just his wife.

I do wonder if "Lady" has turned off a few of the winners making it sound more effeminate. The truth is though, there have been so few "soft" players that have won this award, even today.

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12-16-2016, 01:58 PM
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Solid, performance based, 2nd tier award for a typically smaller group of candidates like the Calder or Selke. It's not a dominant award like the Hart, Vezina or Norris... but can be used as a tiebreaker between somewhat similar careers for HHOF purposes.

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