Jets forward, Kyle Connor, was nominated for the 2021-22 Lady Byng Memorial award, alongside Hurricane's defenseman, Jaccob Slavin, and capitain of the Minnesota Wild, Jared Spurgeon. The Lady Byng award is given to the player that best exemplifies sportsmanship, and gentlemanly conduct.
What does that mean? Well, typically the award goes to somebody witha very low amount of penalty-minutes, as well as a strong on-ice productive season. Here is a look at the most recent winners:
Kyle Connor would rank T-2nd in points on this list, and first in goals. He would also be T-2nd with only 4 penalty minutes, 2 for Hooking in March, and 2 for Slashing in November. What also may be worth noting, is that both of Connor's penalties came against two of the speediest skaters in the league, Connor McDavid (Slash) and Mat Barzal (Hook).
So, what does the competition look like?
Jaccob Slavin, who won the award last year, registered 10 minutes in the box, and 4 goals, 42 points, which is more than last year, and more penalty minutes, too. This isn't an award that goes to the largest point-to-PIM ratio, but those are two of the biggest factors in the decision.
When it comes to Jared Spurgeon, he may end up winning, only because this is voted on the regular season only. In the first round of the playoffs, Spurgeon was caught with an extremely dangerous cross-check to the ankle of Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich.
Spurgeon was lucky to get off with a $5,000 fine, but again, in the conversation about this award, this is a non-factor. Spurgeon registered very similar stats to Slavin, with 10 goals, 40 points, and 10 PIM.
The two deenseman may get the extra edge, as they are typically more likely to get called on a Hook, Hold, Trip or Slash penalty, as they are spending the majority of their time on the defensive side of the puck, especially these two. Kyle Connor's season should not be taken lightly, though. He played a lot of PK time, and obviously, had a fantastic year offensively, blowing the other two out of the water (even with the other two being defenseman, the stat exchange between positions would still show Connor on top offensively). It is not often you find a 47-goal scorer that only has 4 minutes in the box.
The gentlemanly conduct is an impossible thing to gauge, as we will never know all of the things said on the ice, in the locker room, and in private situations. Despite that, these three are all leaders on their team. Connor doesn't have a letter, but is still a leader. I expect this to be a close reace.
Jets interview Barry Trotz
Elliotte Friedman let us all know that the Winnipeg Jets have conducted an interview with Barry Trotz for the available head coach position. What does this mean? Well, nothing really. It means that Barry Trotz is the most highly touted coach on the market right now, and every team looking for a new boss behind the bench will be offering an interview.
Trotz may not interview everywhere that calls, but I was fully expecting an interview, with the fact that Trotz is homegrown in Manitoba, being from Dauphin. The Jets would be stupid to not at least try for an interview.
I do think that the Jets are the front-runners, as long as the plan isn't to go into a full rebuild. Getting Barry Trotz behind the bench is arguably more important than the moves the Jets could make in a full-fledged rebuild. If the Jets can commit to a re-tool, or even have confidence with Trotz running the current group, with some smaller changes, than it may very well be worth the shot.
Update 18/05/22 @ 2:08pmEST
Barry Trotz will be interviewing in Philadelphia on Friday, May 20th
Hellebuyck happy to stay, as long as there isn't a rebuild
In other big news from Elliotte Friedman, he reports that Connor Hellebuyck is more than happy to stay in Winnipeg, as long as the team doesn't go into a full rebuild. This makes a lot of sense, as Hellebuyck would have no business being one of the league's top goalies on a bottom-feeding team, even if it just two years of rebuilding.
With the Trotz news, and this news on Hellebuyck, it is safe to say the Jets are not aiming at a rebuild, which I think we all kind of knew.
Let me know your thoughts, and I hope you all have a great day!