Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/14/13 at 10:06 AM ET
NEW YORK (May 14, 2013) -- Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, goaltender Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild and defenseman Adam McQuaid of the Boston Bruins are the three finalists for the 2012-13 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.
A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association
(PHWA) is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
The local chapters of the PHWA submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be announced during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, with more detail on format to be released at a later date. Following are the finalists for the Masterton Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Crosby took to the ice in 2012-13 following two seasons in which he had missed extended time due to concussion symptoms. His offseason training and preparation paid off in a remarkable start to the season, as he recorded points in nine of his first 11 games. He continued his torrid scoring into March, helping the Penguins post 15 consecutive wins. Crosby led the League in points by a double-digit margin on March 30, when he was struck in the face with a puck. He underwent surgery that night for a broken jaw and significant dental work was required in later days while he worked toward a return to the Penguins lineup.
Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild
When faced with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, an incurable autoimmune disease, last fall, Harding made it clear that his career wasn’t over. In his first start of the season, Harding made 24 saves to shut out the Dallas Stars 1-0 on Jan. 20. On Feb. 12, after feeling ill from medications treating the disease, he was placed on Injured Reserve and missed 33 games as he continued treatment. However, the netminder continued his fight with the disease and, after a two-game conditioning assignment with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, was activated from Injured Reserve on April 22 and returned to the Wild lineup.
Adam McQuaid, Boston Bruins
McQuaid suffered a season-threatening injury in September when his right arm grew increasingly swollen. He was diagnosed with a condition known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that was causing dangerous blood clots to form in his body. After undergoing two emergency surgeries to remove the blood clots, the defenseman was deemed unfit to continue his normal offseason workouts in order to give his body adequate time to heal. McQuaid’s dedication to his rehabilitation efforts later in the fall hastened his recovery and he skated alongside his teammates on opening night of the 2012-13 season against the New York Rangers at TD Garden.
The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers’ Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey and who died on January 15, 1968.
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