Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Likely Masterton Winner

The Masterton Trophy is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.  In practise this means that a player who overcomes a significant handicap (injury, illness etc.) to continue his NHL career and make a significant impact on his team.  This working definition is a more meaningful one than worrying about which player is more sportsmanlike.

By that definition, I think it is quite clear that Teppo Numminen of the Buffalo Sabres will likely win it this season, assuming he has any level of success with his team.  Numminen is a solid defenceman with a good team.  He plays about twenty minutes a night and has six points in 14 games played.  He is even on the All Star ballot.

Numminen has had a long NHL career that started in 1988.  He has appeared in three NHL All Star games.  His career has been put on hold twice (once during the 2004/05 lockout season and once last season) due to open heart surgeries.  Numminen has had a congenital heart murmur since childhood and was diagnosed with a dilated aorta in March 2004.  Nevertheless, his career continues and he is a key contributor to the Buffalo defence.

Of all the NHL’s trophies, I think the safest bet at this point is that Teppo Numminen will win the Masterton Trophy.  He certainly has overcome hardship to play in the NHL and he is a good player.  Assuming no players come back from major injury or illness to play in the NHL and Numminen has a solid season; it should be hard for anyone else to win the Masterton this year.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com