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.