by PuckStopsHere on 02/11/13 at 05:38 PM ET
As the NHL regular season is about a quarter of the way done, I am picking leaders for NHL awards that I have yet to discuss this season. Today, I am picking a Masterton Trophy leader. This award is officially for perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship but it is more accurately described as the award for the best performance from a player who overcame the biggest hardship. By that definition I pick Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens.
Markov missed the majority of the last two seasons due to knee injuries. He was limited to twenty total games in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons combined. Most figured he would never be the same player again. It looks like he is back to the level of a star defenceman. He has ten points so far this season, which places him fourth among defencemen so far this season.
I am uncertain that he can continue to score at this level (for example his 30.8% shooting percentage looks unsustainable) but it looks like Markov is back after missing the majority of two seasons. It looked like his career was essentially over, but now it looks like he has at least a couple years left as a solid contributor. That is why i think he is the Masterton Trophy leader.
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