Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has won the 2012 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
Pacioretty staged a heroic comeback after suffering a fractured vertebrae and a severe concussion on a Zdeno Chara hit in Mar. 2011. After missing the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, Pacioretty came back with aplomb in 2011-12, setting career highs in goals (33), assists (32), points (65), game-winning goals (five) and shots on goal (286).
The Connecticut native also put himself in the history books by becoming the first American-born player to score 30 goals for the Canadiens.
Pacioretty edged out Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson and Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul for the award.
Past Masterton Winners
2011 Ian Laperriere (Philadelphia)
2010 Jose Theodore (Washington)
2009 Steve Sullivan (Nashville)
2008 Jason Blake (Toronto)
2007 Phil Kessel (Boston)
2006 Teemu Selanne (Anaheim)
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Bobby Orr says he likes Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson quite a bit for his offensive game. (Ottawa Sun)
The Philadelphia Flyers are vampires. That’s the reason why they stink in day games, right? (Broad Street Bull)
Jason Arnott gets a week off and it’s not for a vacation. (Post-Dispatch)
Are the Predators going to be kicking themselves at the end of the season for all their missed opportunities to catch and pass the Red Wings? (Tennessean)
Speaking of the Wings, you can add Darren Helm to their injured list. (Red Wings)
Martin St. Louis is Tampa Bay’s nominee for the Masterton Trophy. (Tampa Tribune)
Some of the Winnipeg Jets don’t care very much for how their crowd acts. Perhaps you’d like to go back to Atlanta then? (Globe And Mail)
Finally, your goal of the night came courtesy of… Colorado’s Matt Hunwick? You better believe it. (NHL)
The Masterton Trophy in the NHL goes to the player that shows the most perseverance, dedication, and sportsmanship in the game. Every team nominates a player and it’s often the most heart-warming award given out at the end of the year.
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ nominee this year isn’t Sidney Crosby like many assumed it would be. Instead, as Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters reports, Matt Cooke gets the call as this year’s potential winner out of Pittsburgh.
Last season, Cooke had one of the most controversial and dangerous seasons we’ve seen out of a player, winding up his season being suspended for latter part of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. After being read the riot act by both his team and the league, Cooke’s 2011-12 season has been incredibly different.
Gone are the dirty hits and indignant attitude towards opposing players and in their place Cooke showed what he’s capable of when playing it straight.
He’s hit a career high in goals this season and he has just 30 penalty minutes on the year. More goals than minor penalties? Who would’ve thought that were possible after how things ended last season.
Cooke’s case for the Masterton is a fascinating one and puts a spin on things in a different way. Considering how well he’s playing and how clean he’s doing things, Cooke’s gone from being the poster boy for everything that’s wrong with the league to being the icon for how anyone can adapt themselves to the game. We’re guessing Bruins fans won’t quite see things so kindly.