Washington Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore is this year's recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey." The award was presented by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) to honor the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited those qualities. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury.
Theodore had to deal with some adversity on the ice at the end of last season, but that was forgotten when his infant son Chace passed away last summer from complications stemming from his premature birth. Theodore not only regained the starting job, he had his best season since winning the Hart and Vezina Trophies in 2002, capped by a 20-0-3 run over the final three months. Of far greater importance was the way he handled himself in the dressing room, with fans and the media, and with his new charity "Saves for Kids" which benefits the NICU unit of the hospital Chace spent his entire brief life in.
A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.