NEW YORK -- Goaltender Ray Emery of the Anaheim Ducks, forward Daymond Langkow of the Calgary Flames and forward Ian Laperriere of the Philadelphia Flyers are the three finalists for the 2010-11 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” the National Hockey League announced today.
A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
The local chapters of the PHWA submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. The 2011 NHL Awards will be broadcast by VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Ray Emery, Anaheim Ducks
Ray Emery battled back from a career-threatening injury to reach the NHL and played a major part in the Ducks' successful push for a playoff spot. Emery underwent a complicated bone-graft surgery last April to repair a deteriorated ball joint in his right hip, the result of a disease called avascular necrosis which interrupts blood flow to the area and causes cells to die. After months of rehabilitation he signed with Anaheim as a free agent on Feb. 7 and went 7-2-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 10 NHL regular-season appearances.
Daymond Langkow, Calgary Flames
On more then one occasion, it appeared Daymond Langkow's NHL career was over. After suffering a serious neck injury on March 21, 2010 against Minnesota, Langkow was twice forced to stop working out in the hopes of return. He made a third attempt and finally the recurring problems subsided. More than a year after being hit on the spine by a puck and suffering a fractured vertebra, Langkow made the comeback complete on April 1 when he laced up for his 1,014th NHL game and recorded an assist and +2 rating in the Flames' 3-2 win at St. Louis.
Ian Laperriere, Philadelphia Flyers
Ian Laperriere sustained a severe injury during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he blocked a shot with his face against New Jersey and suffered a concussion and fractured orbital bone. He returned a little more than a month later to finish the Flyers' playoff run that ended two games short of a championship. Laperriere attempted to return in training camp, but could not overcome his concussion-related symptoms and has been on the long-term injury list all season. Nevertheless, he has served the Flyers in several capacities, particularly as a mentor for young players in the organization.
The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers’ Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey and who died January 15, 1968.