Lady Byng Memorial Trophy: History, Montreal Canadiens Past Winners

The Canadiens Head Coach knows this trophy well from his playing career.
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The NHL will award the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy on Thursday, May 30th, before the puck drop of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy 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. The nominees for this award are Auston Matthews, Jaccob Slavin, and Elias Pettersson.

The trophy is in honor of Marie Evelyn Moreton, the wife of Viscount Byng of Vimy. Viscount Byng commanded Canadian forces at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and was the Governor General of Canada from 1921 to 1926. Lady Byng was a diehard hockey fan, donating the trophy to the NHL in 1924.

Lady Byng awarded the first trophy to Frank Nighbor, a member of the orginal Ottawa Senators. She invited Nighbor to Rideau Hall to show him the trophy and ask if the NHL would want to award a most gentlemanly player. Nightbor believed that the NHL would accept it, so Lady Byng gave him the trophy for 1924-25.

It took 22 seasons for a Montreal Canadien to win the award, then another 42 before they did it again. The Canadiens don't have a lot of history with the award, but one current member of the Montreal Canadiens was a multi-time winner of the honor.