Harding, Crosby, McQuaid announced as Masterton finalists

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The NHL has announced that Minnesota Wild netminder Josh Harding, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, and Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid are the 2013 finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The award is for “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

Before the 2013 campaign began, Harding revealed that he had multiple sclerosis, but he was determined to continue his NHL career. Harding posted a 24-save shutout in his first start following the announcement. When Niklas Backstrom suffered a sports hernia before the start of Game 1 of the first round, Harding was called into service and held his own against the Presidents’ Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks.

Crosby had been limited to just 63 games in his previous two campaigns due to concussion problems, but he came back with a vengeance in 2013, scoring 15 goals and 56 points in 36 games. He’s also a finalist for the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award despite missing the final month of the regular season due to a broken jaw.

McQuaid wasn’t expected to play in 2013 after undergoing two surgeries due to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He needed to have blood clots removed from his arm and had a rib taken out. He had the operations in September and started skating just two months later. He was in the Bruins’ lineup for their season opener on Jan. 19.