Center Brad Richards is the Stars' one hope for an NHL award at the ceremony tonight. The 29-year-old is a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, given to the player that exhibits “the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
Richards won the award in 2004 when he was with Tampa Bay. He was also a runner-up for it in 2006. Richards led the Stars with 91 points, including a team-high 67 assists (third-most by any player in franchise history). He had 24 goals, finishing just behind James Neal and Loui Eriksson, both of whom played on the same line with Richards for most of the 2009-10 season. The Stars acquired Richards at the trade deadline during the 2007-08 season. After missing some time in 2008-09 with wrist and hand injuries, Richards played 80 games (he missed two with a groin injury) this past season and was extremely consistent.
Richards has some stiff competition for the award. At the rate things are going, they could be renaming it the Pavel Datsyuk Trophy. The Red Wing has won the award the last four seasons (BTW, Frank Boucher won it 7 times in the 1920s and 30s and Wayne Gretzky has won it five times). Datsyuk is once again a finalist. So is former Richards teammate Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay.
Richards will apparently be dressed for success tonight. American menswear designer John Varvatos is dressing six finalists for the award ceremony in Las Vegas tonight and Richards is one of them.
So does he win the Lady Byng tonight?