Auston Matthews has been named a Lady Byng finalist. Cool.

Photo credit:Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
1 month ago
I’m not sure fewer awards are less appreciated than the Lady Byng. Maybe the Mark Messier Leadership award, but it’s probably pretty close.
Nevertheless, if you are looking to celebrate all things Auston Matthews, he’s now a finalist for the Lady Byng once more.
Here is the reasoning for his nomination according to the NHL:
Matthews led the League with a franchise-record 69 goals (the most by any player since 1995-96) and finished sixth with 107 points (the most by a Maple Leafs player since 1993-94) to power Toronto to its eighth straight playoff berth since he was selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. He also ranked among the top 2023-24 performers in takeaways (2nd; 85), shots on goal (3rd; 369), power-play goals (t‑5th; 18), game-winning goals (t-11th; 8), shooting percentage (14th; 18.7% – minimum: 1 SOG/GP) and plus/minus (14th; +31). Matthews, who appeared in 81 of 82 possible games, achieved these numbers while placing seventh among forwards in total time on ice (1,698:17) and receiving 20 penalty minutes – the fewest among the League’s top 15 scorers. The 26-year-old Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner is a Lady Byng Trophy finalist for the third time, after finishing second in voting in 2019-20 and third in 2020-21. He is vying to become the eighth different player in Maple Leafs history to capture the award and just the second in the expansion era (since 1967-68), following Alexander Mogilny in 2002-03.
The short of it is that Matthews is very much in the thick of everything happening on the ice and still came away with just 20 penalty minutes while being one of the best at both ends of the ice. Somehow Auston Matthews picking up his first career game misconduct didn’t impede this nomination that I’m sure all of the PHWA spent many hours researching and labouring over the decision.
This season actually saw Matthews hit his career high for hits and penalty minutes, so I’m not sure he’ll be the favourite for the award, but given that the award is largely decided by sorting penalty minutes in ascending order and grabbing the most recognizable names from the top of the list makes it anyone’s game.
In addition to Matthews already winning the Rocket Richard this season it is entirely possible that he could be a finalist for the Selke, Ted Lindsay, and the Hart in addition to this nomination for the Lady Byng. I’m sure most Leafs fans would prefer he win the Conn Smythe over all of those other awards.
Tomorrow the NHL will announce the finalists for the Selke and the awards will be presented on June 27th. 

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