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Campbell Honored To Take Home Lady Byng

Wednesday, 06.20.2012 / 11:20 PM ET / News
By Shawn P. Roarke  - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor
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Campbell Honored To Take Home Lady Byng
Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell poses with the Lady Byng trophy following the Awards show in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS -- There's a simple reason why Brian Campbell only took three minor penalties this season.

"I hate to sit in the penalty box," Campbell told NHL.com, punctuating that simple statement with a hearty chuckle.

There is also a more complex reason why Campbell took just three penalties despite playing more per game -- 26:53 -- than any other player in the League during the 2011-12 regular season. It has to do with the way that Campbell can sense what is going to happen on the ice before it even unfolds.

"Skating is one of my stronger points and I think I have gotten better over the years with my positioning," he said Wednesday after winning the Lady Byng Award for gentlemanly play at the NHL Awards. "I find I don't need to take those penalties.

"I'd rather be out there helping my team. I think it goes along with hockey smarts. Sometimes I see penalties that are taken that can hurt a team and that aren't necessary and I feel I have a good grasp of the rules and I get (angry) when I do get a penalty."

How angry? He still remembers two of the three penalties he took this season.

"I still remember when I shot that puck over -- I don't know if it was my first penalty of the season -- but I wasn't too happy about it," Campbell said. "It was a dumb play by myself.

"I don't remember one of them. I remember shooting the puck over [the glass] in Boston, one was against Washington and I don't remember the other one. They are few and far between, which I do like."

Just for the record, Campbell's indiscretions were as follows:

Dec. 8 at Boston, delay of game.

Dec. 27 against Toronto, holding against Carl Gunnarsson.

Feb. 17 against Washington, a slash to Troy Brouwer.

It is that relatively clean rap sheet that earned him the Byng, becoming the first defenseman since 1954 to earn the award. That season, it was Red Kelly that won the award for the third time in his career. Kelly actually won a fourth Byng in 1961, but he was playing center that season.

Campbell knew that history as well as he knows his own penalty history.

"I heard about it from my dad and then researched it a bit; who Red Kelly was and stuff. It was fun to do the research," Campbell said. "It's crazy that it has been that long and its pretty special to win it for myself.

"It definitely is a great honor. There's a lot of people that I looked up to and there's elite, elite level players that could have had a chance and maybe at some point should have won the award, but I'm glad that we broke the trend as a defenseman and we'll see where it goes from here."

He hopes that his victory ends the bias against defensemen in the Lady Byng voting.

"Obviously, it is about how you play and then your sportsmanship," he said. "I think everybody thinks defensemen are supposed to be bruisers. I've never been a bruiser in my whole career. I think sometimes I try to not let that bother me what people, fans, think of defensemen and that was never me.

"I just kept going with my game plan and it has been successful for me."

Author: Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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