Monday, April 6, 2009
--- The Phoenix chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) announced today that Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek has been selected as the team’s 2009 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Michalek’s perseverance and dedication to the game are reflected nightly in his willingness to put his body on the line for his team – he leads the NHL with 262 blocked shots, setting the defensive tone for the Coyotes. Coach Wayne Gretzky and his teammates constantly praise Michalek’s work ethic and willingness to sacrifice his body.
Michalek is on pace to lead the Coyotes in blocked shots while appearing in all 82 games for the third time in four seasons. During the four-year span, Michalek ranks 5th in the NHL in blocked shots with 716 in 318 games. He also ranks 3rd among Coyotes defensemen in scoring this season with 5-20-25 in 79 games while leading the team in time on ice per game (22:46).
In 340 career NHL games with the Coyotes and Minnesota Wild, Michalek has registered 23-73-96 and 154 penalty minutes (PIM). A native of Jindrichuv Hradec, Czech Republic, Michalek has represented the Czech Republic in each of the last three International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship tournaments.
The Masterton Trophy will be awarded at the 2009 NHL Awards broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on June 18, 2009. Airing on CBC in Canada and VERSUS in the United States, the 2009 NHL Awards will bring together the League's best players, celebrities and other NHL VIPs in celebration of the season's brightest stars.