The Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association announced today that they have selected defenseman Hal Gill as the Flyers’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is given annually “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Gill, who turns 39 on Sunday (4/6/75), signed with the Flyers as a free agent on October 1, 2013 after attending training camp as a tryout player. Gill has only appeared in four games for the Flyers this season, but he has served as an invaluable mentor for the Flyers’ younger players in practice and off the ice.
"I'm honored. I love hockey and I want to win," said Gill after hearing the news. "I try to be as helpful as I can. Try to be good in the locker room and help the team. I think that's part of being a teammate; being supportive, being there and knowing your role."
Gill came to the Flyers with more than 1,100 games of NHL experience over 15 seasons with Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Nashville. He won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009, reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Penguins in 2008, and went to the Eastern Conference Finals with Montreal in 2010. His main role with the Flyers this season has been to pass on the wisdom of that experience to his teammates in the hopes of helping them on one of those long playoff runs.
The local chapters of the PHWA in each of the NHL’s 30 cities submit nominations for the Masterton Trophy, and the top three vote-getters are designated as finalists. The winner of the Masterton will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas this June. A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) will be awarded to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the winner’s name.
Three Flyers players have won the Masterton Trophy – Ian Laperriere (2011), Tim Kerr (1989) and Bobby Clarke (1972).
The trophy was first 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.
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Relive Ian Laperriere's acceptance speech when he was awarded
the Masterton in 2011 as a member of the Flyers