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The Puck Stops Here

Winning The Masterton A Year Too Early

Officially, the Masterton Trophy is given to the player who best combines perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.  In practise, it is usually given to the player who has the best season after overcoming a significant obstacle.  Last year's winner was Josh Harding of the Minnesota Wild.  He is overcoming multiple sclerosis to play in the NHL.  The problem is his 2013 season was nothing special.  He was limited to five games played in the season.  He posted a lacklustre .863 saves percentage and a 3.24 GAA.  At times he was unavailable to play because of complications from his MS.

A player can only win the Masterton Trophy once in a career, so Josh Harding cannot win the award again.  The problem is he has become a far better candidate this season.  He has been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season.  Harding is posting a .933 saves percentage and a 1.65 GAA.  This is the completion of the story.  Harding has overcome MS to be a top goalie in the NHL, as opposed to the bit player who was barely hanging onto an NHL career last year.  In an ideal world, Harding could win the Masterton this year and have left it for somebody else (I picked Andrei Markov of Montreal).  This year he is a stronger candidate than Manny Malhotra, who I am currently picking, but Harding cannot win this year.

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Comments

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It seems you really don’t understand the point of the award.

Posted by Garth on 01/24/14 at 09:26 AM ET

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It seems you really don’t understand the point of the award.

It seems YOU don’t understand the point of the post. In practice the Masterson is “given to the player who has the best season after overcoming a significant obstacle.” ala The Norris going to the best offensive defensemen in recent years.

I mean, the post itself is completely pointless (such as looking at +/-) but still. It is a fair point.

Posted by fromdowntown on 01/24/14 at 10:52 AM ET

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It seems YOU don’t understand the point of the post.

Was it to be incorrect?  Because it was incorrect.  More often then not it ISN’T given to the player who has the best season after anything.

Phil Kessel got it in his first year.  Jason Blake and Steve Sullivan got it for simply coming back from bad injuries.  Ian Laperriere got it even though he has never played an NHL game since sustaining his injury.

It is not “usually given to the player who has the best season after overcoming a significant obstacle” at all.  Since the lockout five of the eight recipients did not have the best season after coming back.  The point of the award is that players persevere after something that is very difficult in their lives, be it an injury, a disease or something in their personal life.

The fact that Josh Harding came back after being diagnosed with a debilitating disease is why he won the award.

Here’s a pro tip: using TPH’s “facts” as part of your argument isn’t going to win you a lot of debates.

Posted by Garth on 01/24/14 at 11:53 PM ET

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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.

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