Each year since 1924, the NHL has awarded the Lady Byng Trophy to the player “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability”.
The Professional Hockey Writers association votes on the award. Certainly, they’re a qualified group to catch superior play on the ice along with good conduct off the ice. But PHWA members aren’t on the ice.
Who better to weigh in on sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct on the ice than the on-ice officials?
NHL referees and linesmen are interacting with these players all the time. They know how certain players act, and they certainly appreciate those who would be deserving of recognition for positive on-ice behavior.
Why not give them a vote?
Sure, let the PHWA continue to submit their ballots. Just send one to each of the NHL’s officials and let them do the same.
The PHWA’s 173 ballots can be counting alongside the full-time officials’ 68 ballots to determine the winner.
If we can let NHL General Managers vote for the Vezina, and permit Mark Messier to hand-pick his award winner, why not let the stripes help hand out some hardware to those who would make Marie Evelyn Moreton Byng proud.