On Monday the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced their 32 nominees for the Masterton trophy. The official media folks nominate one player from each team who “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” For example, the Capitals nominated Nicklas Backstrom, who has persevered through a hip injury.
Some nominees for the Masterton have stirring, inspirational stories that remind us all of the indominable human spirit revealed by sports. Other nominees are guys who are like 35 and block a lot of shots. It’s helpful to know the difference.
About half of these players have persevered through the indignity of being above the age of 33. Some have gotten hurt as a result of playing hockey but have recovered and are now playing hockey again. Some are both old and have been hurt and yet, in defiance of God Himself, continue to play hockey.
These are good guys. Some of them have powered through such profound tribulations as getting selected in the expansion draft or sometimes being a healthy scratch. One of them appears to be nominated primarily because he is not Tony DeAngelo.
He wanted out of Boston, but Boston couldn’t find a trade partner, so he’s still there. That’s literally the whole story.
This is technically a subgroup of the first group. Ladd has had a lot of injuries recently, but those problems were compounded when he received skills coaching from Adam Oates.
Fighting through the adversity of “probably should not be playing in this league anymore”
Short kings only
No really. They’ve faced hardships, personal tragedies, and adversity with honesty and aplomb. They represent the very best in sports, teaching us lessons that transcend the game.
The Masterton’s an odd award with a bunch of filler. You wish some teams could just defer having a player nominated some years. But the winner is always a genuine hero. Congratulations in advance to Carey Price.
P.S. Let me know if you think I’ve mis-categorized anyone.
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