SAN JOSE — For the second time in his 16-year NHL career, Sharks forward Patrick Marleau is a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy given annually to a player who combines high skills with sportsmanship on the ice.

"I wasn't even thinking about it really. I was very surprised and very appreciative," said Marleau, whose 18 penalty minutes tied him for lowest among any player with at least 70 points.

The other nominees are Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche and Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers, who won the award a year ago.

"I'm really happy for him," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Patty plays the game the right way. We see a lot of stuff that goes on where players are questioned about their ethics on the ice, and suspensions and whatnot. He has a high skill level, he competes hard every night, he plays physical, but he plays ethically the right way. As do a lot of player in the league."

Marleau, 34, ranked second on the Sharks in goals with 33 and third in points with 70. The Sharks' career leader in almost every offensive statistical category, he also helped Team Canada win a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics.

Marleau, the only Shark ever nominated as a finalist for the Lady Byng, finished third in the 2006 voting. Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk won his first of four consecutive trophies that year.


Advertisement

"That was fun," Marleau said, noting that was the same year Joe Thornton won the Hart Trophy for most valuable player and Jonathan Cheechoo won the first Maurice Richard Trophy for most goals. "It was nice going in there with some teammates and sharing that experience with them."

O'Reilly scored 64 points for the Avalanche this season and earned only one penalty, a minor for playing with a broken stick in the third period of a March 29 in a game against the Sharks. St. Louis scored 69 points in a season divided between the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lighting, and had 10 minutes in penalties.

The winner will be announced on June 24 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. The award is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season.

Staff writer Curtis Pashelka contributed to this report.