MONTREAL - The Montreal chapter of the Professionnal Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced Tuesday the selection of Canadiens' goaltender Cristobal Huet as the team's candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the 2005-06 season.
The 30-year old Huet is completing his third NHL season. Throughout the season, he was a true example of perseverance and determination. After missing 16 games at the start of the season following an off-season knee surgery, Huet made a tremendous comeback this year, ranking among the top NHL goaltenders in shutouts (7), goals against average (2.12) and save percentage (.931). He was named the NHL Defensive Player of the Week twice and was among the nominees for the honor on three other occasions. The Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France native has posted an 18-9-4 record in 34 games so far this season.
Forward Steve Bégin and defenseman Francis Bouillon also received votes. The Canadiens' goalkeeper will now be in contention along with the league's 29 other nominees. The NHL will announce the Bill Masterton Trophy winner at the league's annual award ceremony to be held in June, in Vancouver.
In 2001-02, Canadiens captain Saku Koivu became the fourth player in team history to be awarded the Masterton Trophy. The others were Serge Savard (1979), Henri Richard (1974) and Claude Provost (1968), the very first recipient of the award. Defenseman Sheldon Souray was one of the NHL's three finalists for the trophy in 2003-04.
The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season. The trophy honors the memory of Bill Masterton, a former Minnesota North Stars player who lost his life following an NHL game on January 15, 1968.