MONTREAL – Perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication. Three qualities exemplified by the Canadiens’ candidate for the Bill Masterton Trophy, Jaroslav Halak.
Selected by the Montreal chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, Halak is in the hunt to become only the fifth player in franchise history to earn the prestigious honor since the award’s inception in 1968. With a win this season, Jaro would join an elite group of Canadiens’ stars who have earned the honor in the past, including Saku Koivu in 2002, Serge Savard in 1979, Henri Richard in 1974 and the trophy’s inaugural winner, Claude Provost in 1968.
A first-time nominee, Halak follows in the footsteps of Patrice Brisebois, the Canadiens’ 2008-09 Masterton candidate.
In 44 games this season, the 24-year-old Slovak posted a 2.36 goals-against average, good enough for eighth in the league, to go with his third-best 0.926 save percentage. Halak also notched his 26th win of the campaign this year, becoming the first Habs netminder to break the 25-win benchmark since Jose Theodore in 2003-04.
Since 1968, the Masterton Trophy has been awarded annually to the National Hockey league player who best exemplifies the qualities of determination, perseverance and sportsmanship. The winner is selected by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association from each of the association’s 30 regions across North America. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is given out in honor of former Minnesota North Stars forward Bill Masterton, who passed away on January 15, 1968 from injuries sustained during an NHL game in his rookie campaign. See also:Previous winnersThe playoff raceUpended by Carolina