The Phoenix chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association has nominated Coyotes goalie Mike Smith
for the 2012 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association after each team nominates one player in competition.
Smith, formerly a backup goalie, has revived his career with the Coyotes this season as the team's starting goalie, and his performance is a key reason why Phoenix is in playoff contention with 10 games to go.
Smith, who signed with Phoenix last summer after spending part of the 2010-11 season in the American Hockey League, already has set career highs in games played, wins and shutouts, and he has a chance to establish a personal best in goals-against average.
"I knew 'Smitty' would come in and be a good player for us," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett recently told NHL.com. "I just had a feeling that he was ready to take that next step."
In February, Smith allowed just 16 goals in 11 wins – a 1.42 goals-against average – and stopped 315 of 331 shots, a .952 save percentage. As a result, the NHL named him its No. 1 Star of the month.
The winner of the Masterton Trophy will be announced June 20 at the NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas.