Ah, the Lady Byng.
No one cares about the Lady Byng.
Yet here I am, writing about it for a second year.
The Lady Byng (formally known as the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy) was first conceived by the biggest hockey fangirl to ever live, Marie Evelyn Moreton, the wife of Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1921-1926. As the wife of Viscount Byng, she would be known as Lady Byng, of course. Let’s allow Wikipedia to tell the rest of the story…
She decided the trophy’s first winner would be Frank Nighbor of the Ottawa Senators. Late in the season, Lady Byng invited Nighbor to Rideau Hall, showed him the trophy, and asked him if the NHL would accept it as an award for its most gentlemanly player. When Nighbor said he thought it would, Lady Byng, much to Nighbor’s surprise, awarded him the trophy.
So, basically, she invited a hockey player over to her house to show him this trophy that she made just for him. I’d like to see some of you try that out on your favorite hockey player and see how far you get before getting laughed at or possibly arrested. Must’ve been nice to be the Governor General’s wife.
Frank Boucher of the New York Rangers won the award seven times, which impressed Lady Byng so much that she let him keep it. She then donated a second trophy. In 1949, Lady Byng passed away. The NHL presented a new trophy, and the name of the award was changed to the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
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