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The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy is given annually to the player "judged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability." Since the NHL Lockout, only two different players have won the award: Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk and Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis.
Over the course of his career, Danny Briere has been an exceptional member of the NHL community. On the ice, he's exemplified what it means to be a true sportsman, a man that gives everything he has in order to play the game the way it ought to be played. He has never been known as a "cheap" or "dirty" player—in fact, its just the opposite.
Off the ice, Briere is an active and involved member of the community. He gives generously of his time and money to a number of charitable organizations. Briere has even gone as far as to open up his home to young players in need of stability and a mentor.
And as the stat lines show, Briere has consistently demonstrated a high standard of playing ability, something which seems likely to continue into the 2011-2012 season.
While both Martin St. Louis and Pavel Datsyuk are eminently deserving of the award, it may be time for it to be awarded to someone new, someone who has not yet won the award. That someone could be Danny Briere.