NHL Notebook: Jaccob Slavin wins Lady Byng trophy

Photo credit:James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
21 days ago
The final NHL Notebook of May is here!
This season’s Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner was announced, the Memorial Cup’s semifinal and final game are set, while a long-term coaching staff member has been relieved of his duties.
Let’s dig into the latest NHL Notebook!
Jaccob Slavin is the 2023-24 Lady Byng winner
On Thursday, the National Hockey League announced that Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Jaccob Slavin was awarded the 2023-24 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy.
The award is given to a player “who exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
Slavin scored six goals and 37 points, his second best season of his career, while also taking just four minor penalties, a huge factor for media members who vote. The other two players nominated for this season’s Lady Byng Memorial Trophy were Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Auston Matthews and Vancouver Canucks’ forward Elias Pettersson.
Last season’s winner was Anže Kopitar, who won his second Lady Byng, and his first since the 2015-16 season.
Memorial Cup update
One of the hardest trophies to win in sports is down to just two teams, both from the Ontario Hockey League.
On Friday evening, the Moose Jaw Warriors, winners of the Western Hockey League, faced the hosts, the Saginaw Spirit. Unlike the first game, which the Spirit won 5-4, this one was a lot farther apart, as the Spirit won 7-1 in a blowout.
This just leaves two teams remaining: the Spirit and the Ontario Hockey League’s winner, the London Knights. The Knights bounced the Spirit in the Western Conference Final, as the team from London won in six games, the only two games they’ve lost since the start of the playoffs on March 29.
In addition, Saginaw had to play in Friday’s game because of the Knights, who defeated the hosts 4-2 in the finals game of the round robin with a late Easton Cowan goal to break the tie.
Saginaw’s last Memorial Cup came all the way back in 1960 as the St. Catharines Teepees. London on the other hand, has been one of the most dominant teams in the Canadian Hockey League since the turn of the millennium. They’ve won five J. Ross Robertson Cups (the OHL winners) since 2005, as well as two Memorial Cups. One in the best Memory Cup of all time in 2005, as well as one in 2016.
Minnesota relieved long-term assistant coach Darby Hendrickson of duties
On Friday, the Minnesota Wild relieved long-time assistant coach Darby Hendrickson of his duties.
Drafted 73rd overall, Hendrickson played 12 seasons in the National Hockey League from 1993 until the 2003-04 season. He played four seasons with the Wild towards the end of his career, before a trade deadline trade sent him to Colorado, where he played in just six postseason games. He played two more seasons in Austria, before hanging up the skates.
Hendrickson was hired by the Wild as the assistant coach in 2011-12, and has spent the past 14 seasons with the team through several coaching changes. In fact, of the seven head coaches the Wild have had, Hendrickson was an assistant for six of them.
Canadiens signed Jared Davidson to entry-level contract
According to the Montréal Canadiens, the team has signed Jared Davidson to an entry-level contract.
The 21-year-old Edmonton, Alberta native played five seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Hockey League (and lost in the finals of the 2023 Memorial Cup), before heading to the Laval Rocket in the American Hockey League. The left-shot centre scored 11 goals and 15 points in 38 games.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2022 draft, it’s a long shot that players drafted this deep make it, especially at a high level. However, Davidson had a rather successful professional debut when he played.
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