Members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association have nominated Flyers captain, Claude Giroux, for the 2017-18 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The NHL trophy is awarded annually to the player who best embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey.
Said Giroux: "It means a lot. I've been through a lot and I've been able to have a lot of help from everybody that's involved with me, all my trainers here in Philly and my coaches and also my trainer back home Tony Greco. Just the dedication and all the time they've put in on me... it's been a great journey."
Giroux is in the midst of challenging his career highs set in 2011-12. He has recorded 26 goals and 65 assists for 91 points through 76 games which currently ranks fifth in the NHL. His 65 assists are tied for the NHL lead and tie his career high set in 2011-12 when he had 28 goals and 65 assists for 93 points.
"I think last year was pretty tough," added Giroux. "My mind was telling me to do something but I just couldn't do it. At the end it was more of a mental thing and I had a really tough time. But like I said, I was able to have a good summer last summer and I had good people around me to help me get better. It was a process but right now it's going pretty well and hopefully we can keep going."
As compared to last season, through 76 games, Giroux's numbers are as follows:
2016-17: 56 points (14g-42a) -14
2017-18: 91 points (26g-65a) +18
* Giroux has had 25 games with multiple points, including nine games with three or more points.
In addition to his season performance, Giroux has climbed numerous Flyers all-time scoring lists:
* He currently ranks fifth all-time in Flyers history in scoring with 666 points, surpassing five Flyers this season: Rod Brind-Amour, Mark Recchi, John LeClair, Tim Kerr and most recently, Eric Lindros.
* He ranks fourth in Flyers history in assists (460), three points behind Bill Barber (463) for third all-time, and just 20 points behind Brian Propp (480) for second all-time in franchise history.
* Giroux also ranks third all-time in Flyers history with 271 points on the power-play, behind only Bill Barber (280) and Bob Clarke (333).
* Giroux has also played the second-most games as a Flyer captain (447), trailing only Bob Clarke (610), and since being named captain on Jan. 15, 2013, he has missed just five games, appearing in 447 of a possible 452 contests.
Past nominees for the Masterton on the Flyers include: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (2017), Shayne Gostisbehere (2016) and Nick Schultz (2015). Only three Flyers have taken home the award in franchise history. Most recently Ian Laperriere won in 2010. Bob Clarke (1972) and Tim Kerr (1989) were also previous winners.
The winner is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season. A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund. Last season's winner was Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.
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.