I began looking around the rest of the league for other candidates. Louie Eriksson, Jordan Eberle and Jason Pominville have all had Byng worthy campaigns. But one name that really caught my eye was Florida's Brian Campbell.
Campbell has quietly had a fantastic season. He is second in league scoring among defenseman, helping the surprise Panthers in a playoff spot and possibly with a division championship. He has played more minutes than any player in the entire NHL, yet he too has only served 6 minutes in penalties all season. To me, Campbell's season is more impressive given his status as Florida's top backliner and the NHL minute leader while playing a position that generally demands more penalties. And he has his team in the playoffs.
Will Campbell win the Lady Byng? Fat chance, says hockey history. Only two defensemen in the history of the NHL have ever won the Lady Byng; Hall of Famers Red Kelly and Bill Quackenbush. Not even Nicklas Lidstrom, the perennial Norris Trophy winner lately, could win the award, even though he has not taken more than 30 minutes in penalties in any of the past four seasons.
Matt Moulson has had a great year and is a deserving Lady Byng finalist. But Brian Campbell has had an equally impressive season and, in my books anyway, deserves the trophy. It is so rare to find a defenseman who has had such a season, and he should be rewarded.
But he won't.
But he won't.