BostonBruins.com – On Monday, the Boston chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association announced that defenseman Adam McQuaid is the Bruins’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is presented annually to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
Each NHL team has a nominee, and the winner is selected by a poll of all chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season.
McQuaid has played in 29 games this season, registering a goal and three assists, and 54 penalty minutes, fourth most on the team.
Playing games at all has been a remarkable feat for McQuaid, considering the adversity he has faced over the past year. The Prince Edward Island native missed the entire seven-game Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Washington last spring, after suffering a concussion late in the regular season.
The six-foot-four, 197-pound blueliner was cleared over the summer, but last September he suffered a major setback. McQuaid’s arm became swollen after a workout at Harvard University, and when things did not improve, he made his way to a hospital.
Eventually, McQuaid was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which caused the formation of blood clots. He needed surgery to remove the clot, part of his rib, and some muscle in his neck.
McQuaid was put on blood thinners and could not work out. If the 2012-13 season had started on time in October, he would not have been ready. But with the work stoppage lasting until mid-January, the 26-year-old was healthy and good to go when the regular season began.
McQuaid has missed 16 games this season, 11 of those because of a shoulder strain suffered in mid-March. He also missed the B’s game against Florida on April 21 with a lower body injury.
“That's the thing that maybe at times got overlooked, not by everybody, but he had quite an experience during the lockout that could've been devastating,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien prior to the Bruins meeting with the Flyers in Philadelphia on April 23.
“And that always leaves a bit of a scar. So, he's fought through that and he's come back, he's had his challenges with some other injuries, but what he's had to battle through and what he's had to endure and live through was something pretty traumatic.
“So, for him to be nominated for that [Masterton Trophy] I think is very fitting.”
The last Bruin to win the award was Phil Kessel in 2006-07, after coming back from testicular cancer. Charlier Simmer (1985-86), Gord Kluzak (1989-90) and Cam Neely (1993-94) are the other Bruins to take home the trophy.