With the NHL Awards to be handed out during the Stanley Cup Finals this year, SenShot will look at one award each day and predict the winner and also make our own pick based on the votes from our three writers. Yesterday we looked at the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, and today we turn our attention to the players who overcame massive obstacles to keep playing the game they love, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
AWARDED TO: ” The National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”- NHL.com
VOTED ON BY: The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on the winner from a list of nominees selected from each team by the PHWA chapter in that city.
THE NOMINEES ARE:
SIDNEY CROSBY – It is widely recognized the concussion problems that Sidney Crosby has had the past three seasons. His return to form was remarkable until yet another injury forced him out of the last month of the season. He still finished tied for third in scoring.
JOSH HARDING – Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding announced in late 2012 that he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an incurable disease with terrible side effects. Rather than step aside, Harding charged it head on, and with medication to minimize the symptoms was able to return to form and played in 5 games in the regular season and then 5 more in the postseason after Niklas Backstrom was injured in the pregame warmup prior to game 1 of the playoffs.
ADAM MCQUAID – Perhaps a little less public, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid also overcame some serious physical obstacles during the lockout. He was afflicted with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which required two surgeries. The first one removed blood clots and the second saw a rib removed as well as some muscle from his neck area. McQuaid battled back, and in a season that he was supposed to miss entirely, McQuaid played in 32 games as a 6/7 defenseman.
AND THE WINNER IS…
SenShot selects Josh Harding as the winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The disease that struck him is one that is unforgiving, and the fact that he was able to return to action so soon after diagnosis is pretty incredible, and he refused to use it as a crutch during the season. It was a unanimous selection among SenShot’s panel of writers.
HAVE YOUR SAY: You have seen what we have had to say, so no you can have yours: