Vladimir Tarasenko has been named a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
As if the weekend wasn’t already great enough for St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, he got some great news on Sunday afternoon.
One day after Tarasenko scored his first goal of the postseason and helping the Blues eliminate the Minnesota Wild from the postseason, he was named as one of the three finalists for the NHL’s Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which is awarded yearly to the player who exhibits “the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
In other words, the winner of the Lady Byng should be a player who is as great of a man off the ice as he is a player on it. That certainly seems to be the case for Tarasenko, who in addition to taking on the role as the face of the franchise at just 25 years old, has utilized his newfound superstar status to make some really great things happen.
Earlier this year at the Blues’ Casino Night fundraiser, Tarasenko repeatedly outbid the next-highest bidder to win a trip on the Blues’ two-game road trip to Colorado and Arizona. Tarasenko awarded the prize package to 11-year-old Arianna Dougan, a survivor of childhood cancer. The friendship she formed with Tarasenko and the time she spent with the Blues were some of the most memorable takeaways from the 2016-17 season.
The last Blues player to win the Lady Byng was Pavol Demitra, who won the award after a spectacular 75-point season in 1999-2000. The other Blues who have won the Lady Byng are Brett Hull, who captured the award in 1989-90, and Phil Goyette, who won it during his only season with the Blues in 1969-70.
Tarasenko has previously received votes for the Lady Byng, Calder, and Hart trophies, but this is the first time that he’s finished within the top three and been named a finalist for one of the league’s annual awards.