In a quick news item, the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association named its nominees for the 2020 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy on Tuesday. The Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the “player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association after each team nominates one player in the competition. It is often awarded to a player who has come back from a career or even life-threatening illness or injury.
Each Canadian Team’s Nominee
The nominees for each Canadian NHL teams are listed below:
Calgary Flames: Defenseman Mark Giordano
Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid
Montreal Canadiens: Shea Weber
Ottawa Senators: Bobby Ryan
Toronto Maple Leafs: Zach Hyman
Vancouver Canucks: Jacob Markstrom
Winnipeg Jets: Mark Letestu
Last Year’s Masterson Award Winner
The Award Winner for last season was goalie Robin Lehner, who then played for the New York Islanders. Lehner, fortunately, won his battle against alcohol and pill addiction and, at the time of the award, had been sober for more than a year while undergoing medical treatment for mental health issues.
Each of the Canadian players listed above faced and has – to one extent or another – overcome difficulties over the past season or two.
Where Did the Bill Masterson Award Come From?
For those who don’t know much about the Bill Masterson Award, the trophy was first given out by the NHL Writers’ Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, who was a player for the Minnesota North Stars. Masterson exhibited a high degree of the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Sadly, Masterton died on January 15, 1968, after an injury sustained during a game.
The trophy was first awarded following the 1967-68 season.
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