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Your Bill Masterton Finalists


added 12:50pm, Press release is below.

NEW YORK (July 16, 2020) – Defenseman Stephen Johns of the Dallas Stars, left wing Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers and right wing Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators are the three finalists for the 2019-20 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” the National Hockey League announced today.

The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy after the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals, with the exact date, format and time to be determined.

Following are the finalists for the Masterton Trophy, in alphabetical order:


Stephen Johns, Dallas Stars

Johns returned to NHL action in 2019-20 after being sidelined for 22 months due to post-traumatic headaches, an ordeal he described to The Athletic. Following a two-game conditioning stint with Texas of the American Hockey League, Johns returned against the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 18 (his previous NHL game was against the Wild on March 29, 2018) and played 18:29. The 28-year-old defenseman went on to appear in 17 games during the regular season, recording 2-3--5. A season highlight was scoring his first goal since returning with his parents in attendance at Madison Square Garden. "Throughout this whole process, it wasn’t just me going through hell,” Johns told the Dallas Morning News. “As parents, they want to help and for them to be here and see that, I probably know my dad was for sure crying. I’m pretty excited to go see them and give them both a big hug."


Oskar Lindblom, Philadelphia Flyers

In December of 2019, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania and started treatment that sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season. Prior to the diagnosis, Lindblom was in the midst of a breakout campaign, recording 11 goals, which was tied for the team lead at the time, and 18 points (11G-7A) in 30 games. The hockey world celebrated on July 2 when the 23-year-old forward rang a ceremonial bell at Abramson Cancer Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to signify the end of his treatments. "He’s handled it much better than I probably would," Flyers teammate Kevin Hayes told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s inspiring, and he puts a smile to your face and makes you realize your problems aren’t as serious as they seem to be.”


Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators

Ryan, 33, left the Senators to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program on Nov. 20. He returned to practice with the team in early February and pledged to share his story publicly in an effort to help and inspire others facing similar challenges. In his first home game after returning to the lineup Ryan tallied a hat trick, was named the game's First Star and received multiple standing ovations in a 5-2 win over Vancouver on Feb. 27. “Because I’ve been open and candid about that, I think people have looked at me and said, ‘There’s a very relatable person,’" Ryan told the Ottawa Sun. "Through my family stuff and now with alcohol issues, I’ve never hid from it and I’ve always said, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to have to do it in the public eye and I’m going to have to be candid with it."

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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