Who Will Win the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy?

The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded to a player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey. The award is named after formal NHL player, Bill Masterton, who is the only player to have died from injuries sustained on ice. Usually the player who is awarded the trophy has overcome a serious illness or injury or has turned their career around. Jaromir Jagr, the 45 year old Florida Panther is the current holder of the trophy. This season Craig Anderson, Andrew Cogliano, and Derek Ryan have been nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy.  Here is a preview into each player’s season and why they were nominated:

Craig Anderson: Goalie, Ottawa Senators

Anderson had one of the best seasons of his career while his wife Nicholle had been diagnosed with throat cancer. Anderson missed time during the season to be with his wife but that did not affect his play. During the season, Anderson appeared in 40 games with a record of 25-11-4, 5 shutouts, a goals against average of 2.28, and a save percentage of .926. He played a pivotal role in the Ottawa Senators playoff run to the Eastern Conference Final and he was just as good in the playoffs with a record of 11-8,tallying 1 shutout with a goals against average of 2.34 and a save percentage of .922. In late May, Nicholle beat her cancer and the Ottawa Senators announced they would protect Anderson in the upcoming expansion draft.

Andrew Cogliano: Left Winger, Anaheim Ducks

Andrew Cogliano is no stranger to the Masterton Trophy having been nominated four times before without ever winning it. The Ontario native has earned the title of being the NHL’s “Ironman” appearing in 786 consecutive games and 60 playoff games. This season, Cogliano passed Craig Ramsay who was fourth on the most consecutive games played list with 776. Currently, Doug Jarvis holds the record for most consecutive games played with 964.In the 2016-2017 season, Cogliano scored 16 goals with 19 assists in 82 games.

Derek Ryan: Center, Carolina Hurricanes

Derek Ryan went on a wild ride before he was able to reach the NHL. He played for the University of Alberta, the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL, the Kalamazoo Wings in the UHL, Alba Volan Szekesfehervar and EC VSV in the EBEL, and Orebro HK in the SHL before finally signing with the Carolina Hurricanes in June of 2015. During the 2015-2016season, Ryan waited patiently for his opportunity, splitting time between the Charlotte Checkers and the Hurricanes before finally earning a full-time spot in the 2016-2017 NHL Season. He recorded 11 goals and 18 assists in 67 games this season.

Although all three candidates deserve strong consideration for this award, the edge should go to Craig Anderson. Goaltenders are different breed altogether requiring a certain type of mind set to play in front of a puck traveling upwards of 100 miles per hour. When that mind set is thrown off due to personal circumstances, it is difficult to get back to a high level of play. Anderson did come back and in the first game back shutout the New York Islanders 3-0. Anderson wound up having a great season playing with a heavy heart and kudos to him for helping his team every step of the way, especially throughout the playoffs. Since his situation is unique and involves serious illness to his family, he most likely will be the recipient of the 2017 Bill Masterson Trophy.

Featured Image via NHL

Junior at Hofstra University majoring in Broadcast Journalism, minoring in Public Affairs and Radio/Television/Film. Research, write and report sporting news on air for WRHU Radio. Edit highlights and engineer Hofstra sports and New York Islander broadcasts. My favorite sports include hockey, football, baseball, soccer and golf. I currently play hockey and golf for fun.

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