Canadiens make Max Pacioretty their Masterton nominee

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Not a whole lot has gone right for the Montreal Canadiens this season, yet one story shines as an undeniable inspiration. The Habs decided to name Max Pacioretty as their candidate for the 2012 Bill Masterton Trophy.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the trophy is awarded to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” Pacioretty has had his run-ins with Brendan Shanahan’s disciplinary committee this season so maybe the sportsmanship part might not be his strong suit, but the other two factors have been on full display.

(To be fair regarding the Kris Letang hit, Pacioretty showed class in immediately apologizing for the check.)

After withstanding an incredibly unlucky hit from Zdeno Chara last season, many would find it hard to believe that Pacioretty would bounce back to score 30 goals and 27 assists for 57 points this season. In fact, some wondered if he’d ever play (or even walk) again.

(Mark Recchi wasn’t in that club.)

His season’s certainly been an example of perseverance, so the Habs probably didn’t need to deliberate the choice for very long. Who are some other players from other teams who come to mind as good candidates for the award, though?