Kyle ConnorThe Winnipeg Jets won the Lady Byng Trophy on Monday, awarded annually to the player considered to have the best sportsmanship while maintaining top-level performances, thanks to a vote by the Professional Journalists Association (PHWA) assigned to Hockey. ).
The 25-year-old forward became the first Jets/Atlanta Thrashers player to win the award. He led the Jets to score goals this season, setting career-high 79 goals (47), assists (46) and points (93) in 79 games. He received only two minor penalties, the fewest of any of the NHL’s top 100 goalscorers (50 games at least). He also finished first among Jets forwards in ice time (21:47) and placed 12th among all skaters in turnovers (66).
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“It’s such an honor,” Connor said. I want to thank my family and friends. They are always there when I need them. Their unwavering support means a lot to me. »
The trophy was presented by Tanya and Lucie Bossy, the daughter and husband of Hockey Hall of Fame forward Mike Bossy, who died on April 15.
A part of the New York Islanders’ four consecutive Stanley Cup victories between 1980 and 1983, Bossy won the Lady Byng Trophy three times (1983, 1984, 1986).
“I came across something my father wrote in his book about when he first won the Lady Byng Trophy and thought I’d share it with you,” said Tanya Bossy. “He wrote: ‘I won my first Lady Byng trophy as the player with the greatest sportsmanship. I was happy to win Lady Byng, but that year in particular, I didn’t realize what I had done that I hadn’t done in years.”
“I think that says everything about my father. He was one-sided in his daily life as well as on the ice, showing that sportsmanship and the clan are in his blood. It was just his way of doing things in life. He raised the bar for anyone who wanted to be inspired by his strength and courage. As someone who has won this trophy three times , my father obviously saw sportsmanship as an important part of hockey. »
Connor was one of four players to be suspended for less than 10 minutes while playing at least 50 games and averaging at least 7:00 PM per game. Others Anton Stralman (Arizona Coyotes), Ryan Pulock (New York Islanders) and Mikey Anderson (Los Angeles Kings).
“He is someone who can teach me a lot, even if he is two years older than me,” his teammate said. Pierre-Luc Dubois. “It is finally getting the recognition it deserves. I think he’s one of the most underrated players in the league. A lot of people just hear or watch our games, but they don’t necessarily watch our games. I’m glad you got the loan. »
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Connor added that his teammates played an important role in winning this trophy.
“It certainly wouldn’t have been possible without you,” Connor said. Coming to the arena was fun thanks to you. I loved playing with each of you. Thank you to the Jets organization for giving me the opportunity to be the best player I can be every day. »
Carolina Hurricanes defender Jacob Slavin and captain of the Minnesota Wild Jared Spurgeon were the other finalists. Slavin won the cup last season.