MONTREAL - The Montreal chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced Thursday the selection of Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron as the team's candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the 2016-17 season.
Defenseman Andrei Markov, the Canadiens' candidate in 2012-13 and 2014-15, finished second in the voting. Canadiens forward and team captain Max Pacioretty was the award recipient in 2011-12.
Drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the sixth round at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the 27-year old Byron is completing his seventh NHL season. Throughout the season, he has been a true example of sportsmanship, perseverance and determination.
The Ottawa native reached the 20-goal plateau in a season for the first time in his NHL career, ranking second on the team in goals. Byron sits second on the Canadiens with a +15 differential and five game-winning goals (tied with A. Galchenyuk), and fifth with 37 points. He ranks second in the NHL with a 22.7% shooting percentage.
The Canadiens' forward will now be in contention with the league's 29 other nominees for this coveted award.
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 commemorates the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who lost his life following an NHL game on January 15, 1968.
Five Canadiens players have been awarded with the Masterton Trophy in league history; Max Pacioretty (2011-12), Saku Koivu (2001-02), Serge Savard (1978-79), Henri Richard (1973-74), and Claude Provost (1967-68), who was the inaugural recipient of the award.