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O'Reilly third in Lady Byng balloting for midseason awards by PHWA

TAMPA -- Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly finished third in balloting for the Lady Byng Trophy in a midseason poll conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and released Friday as part of All-Star Weekend.

The PHWA voted on “Half Season” Awards through 1968, but the annual practice fell off the radar soon after the advent of the modern-day NHL All-Star Game in 1969. The Midseason Awards were revived this season to include a fan element, with more than 150 writers and broadcasters and 2,000 fans casting ballots in 10 categories.

The Lady Byng goes to the player judged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability. O'Reilly finished third in the Byng ballot to Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau and Toronto's Auston Matthews.

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O'Reilly has 13 goals and 20 assists this season, with just one minor penalty.  He leads the NHL in faceoff percentage at 61.4. O'Reilly won the award in 2014 with Colorado after collecting 64 points and becoming just the second player in NHL history to play 80 games and have just one minor.

O'Reilly was the only Sabre named on the PHWA's midseason awards. Here's the rundown of how the votes went for other awards:

Hart Trophy  (MVP)
1. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
3. John Tavares, New York Islanders

Norris Trophy (best defenseman)
1. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
3. John Klingberg, Dallas Stars

Selke Trophy  (best defensive forward)
1. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
2. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
3. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Calder Trophy  (best rookie)
1. Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
2. Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
3. Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

Vezina Trophy (best goaltender)
1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
3. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Jack Adams Award (coach of the year)
1. Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights
2. Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Paul Maurice, Winnipeg Jets

GM of the Year
1. George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights
2. Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning
3. Ray Shero, New Jersey Devils

Rod Langway Award (created by the PHWA for best defensive defenseman)
1. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
2. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
3. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

Comeback Player of the Year Award (created by the PHWA for this balloting) 
1. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils
3. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

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