Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews Finishes 2nd in Lady Byng Voting

The NHL announced it’s 2019-20 awards yesterday and unfortunately no player on the Toronto Maple Leafs won anything.

Despite having some of the most expensive contracts in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs did not win any individual awards. As players like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander age, expect their names to come up soon.

Of the three players I just mentioned, Matthews had the best season, which is no surprise. He’s the highest-paid player on the team and one of the best pure-goal scorers in the NHL. He missed out on winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy by one goal this year, but should win that award sooner than later.

In terms of an individual award, the last Leaf to win anything was actually Matthews when he won the Calder Trophy a few years ago. However, besides that, it’s been quite some time since any Leafs player has done anything:

  • Art Ross Trophy:
    • 1937-1938 Season: Gordie Drillon
  • Lady Byng Trophy:
    • 2002-2003 Season: Alexander Mogilny
  • Frank Selke Trophy:
    • 1992-1993 Season: Doug Gilmour
  • Hart Memorial Trophy: 
    • 1954-1955 Season: Ted Kennedy
  • Vezina Trophy:
    • 1964-1965 Season: Terry Sawchuck/Johnny Bower
  • Jack Awards Award:
    • 1992-1993 Season: Pat Burns

As you can see, even though the Leafs have had some great talent, they haven’t been able to win the major individual awards in many years.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened this season, with a Leafs winner for each category.

Frank Selke Trophy

Winner: Sean Couturier

Leafs Version: Auston Matthews

Matthews finished 16th in voting, which was the highest of any Maple Leafs player. He’s a not only a force offensively, but his ability to steal the puck from his opponents is one of his best skills.

Lady Byng Trophy

Winner: Nathan MacKinnon

Leafs Version: Auston Matthews

This name is going to get said a lot during this article. Matthews finished second in voting and actually finished with 21 first-place votes for this award. With 80 points and only eight penalty minutes, Matthews displayed the most gentlemanly conduct for the Leafs this season.

Jack Adams Award

Winner: Bruce Cassidy

Leafs Version: Mike Babcock , Sheldon Keefe

Should we give this award to the coach that got fired or the one that guided the Leafs to a .628 winning percentage? Just a reminder that if Keefe did that for a full 82-game schedule, it would have been the eighth best winning percentage in Leafs history (102 seasons!), so yeah, let’s go with Keefe.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Winner: Roman Josi

Leafs Version: Morgan Rielly

He may have been injury-prone for most of the season, but he’s still the best defenseman on the Leafs and a game-changer. This year was a huge disappointment compared to the 2018-19 season, but his presence was extremely missed when he was out to injury.

Vezina Trophy

Winner: Connor Hellebuyck

Leafs Version: Freddie Andersen

Trade rumors continue to swirl with Andersen, but he’s obviously the best goalie on the team and one of the best goalies in the NHL. Although he finished the season with a 2.85 GAA and .909 save percentage, which was a down-year for him, he made up with it in five qualifying series games.

Hart Memorial Trophy

Winner: Leon Draisaitl

Leafs Version: Auston Matthews

Next: A Reminder that Matthews Should Have Won the Hart

Imagine scoring 47 goals and 80 points in 70 games and not even getting a sniff at the Hart Memorial Trophy? Well, that’s what happened to Matthews this season. He’s an unbelievable talent and will win this trophy before his career is finished. You wait, Leafs-Land, he’s just getting started.