There's some kind of irony in this: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane has been named a finalist for an award for good behavior.
Kane, who has had an assortment of off-ice issues since joining the Hawks in 2007, on Thursday was announced as one of the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy given to the player who has exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, combined with a high standard of playing ability.
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Kane is a finalist along with Matt Moulson of the Islanders and Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay.
Kane ranked fifth in the NHL in scoring with 55 points while receiving only eight penalty minutes -- the lowest total among the league's top 20 scorers.
"Any time you're up for an award it's exciting," Kane said. "I thought maybe I had a chance for this one. It kind of speaks volumes of where my game has gone since my rookie season. I remember I used to take a lot of penalties that were kind of unnecessary. I kind of got that out of my game."
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville remembers benching a younger Kane because he was taking too many penalties.
"I thought Kaner really progressed in his game this year," Quenneville said. "Offensively he had the puck more than he ever did and had more speed and pace to his game.
"I think each and every year Kaner has gotten better as a player and has grown up as well."
Kane is proud of his accomplishment.
"You think about it as the year goes on a little bit," Kane said. "It's an award that's definitely a great honor. I think it's got a little bit different view now from players now that it's skill and sportsmanship put together. I think it's an award you want to be up for and I'm excited about it."
Previous Hawks to win the Lady Byng Trophy include: Doc Romnes (1936), Max Bentley (1943), Clint Smith (1944), Bill Mosienko (1945), Ken Wharram (1964), Bobby Hull (1965) and Stan Mikita (1967, 1968).