The Islanders chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) nominated Robin Lehner for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy on Thursday morning.
The PHWA nominates one player per NHL club for the Masterton, which is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
"It's a nice honor. It couldn't be done without everyone's help and support," Lehner said. "I'm privileged to be in this spot. It's been a rough time that I've been able to get out of and keep working at it and to be able to do this on a regular basis, I'm blessed."
Lehner, 27, is 22-12-5 in his first season with the Islanders, boasting a 2.17 GAA, a .928 SV% and a career-high five shutouts. Lehner's season comes on the heels of his reveal of addiction and mental health issues in training camp. He said he's received nothing but support from the Islanders since disclosing his issues to them and he's grateful for the positive environment the team has fostered this season.
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"It's more the mental support I think just being accepting, accepting of the flaws that I've had and not being judgmental," Lehner said. "Being a good person to everyone in this room and thinking about the person first, it's a lot of what this organization does. That's how it should be."
The NHL will announce the three finalists for the award at a later date and a winner will be announced at the NHL Awards in June. For now, Lehner said his focus is on helping the Islanders clinch their first playoff berth in three seasons.
"It's just been a good season," Lehner said. "Let's top it off by winning a couple games and make the playoffs, that would be awesome."
Two Islanders have won the Masterton Trophy in the past, Ed Westfall in 1977 for his leadership and Mark Fitzpatrick in 1992 for overcoming Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome.
PHWA Masterton Nominees (will be updated):
Anaheim Ducks - Patrick Eaves
Arizona Coyotes - F Michael Grabner
Boston Bruins - D Zdeno Chara
Buffalo Sabres - F Jason Pominville
Calgary Flames - D Mark Giordano
Carolina Hurricanes - G Curtis McElhinney
Chicago Blackhawks - G Corey Crawford
Colorado Avalanche - F Carl Soderberg
Columbus Blue Jackets - F Nick Foligno
Dallas Stars - D Taylor Fedun
Detroit Red Wings - D Nicklas Kronwall
Edmonton Oilers - D Andrej Sekera
Florida Panthers - F Derek MacKenzie
Los Angeles Kings - G Jack Campbell
Minnesota Wild - D Ryan Suter
Montreal Canadiens - F Andrew Shaw
Nashville Predators - F Rocco Grimaldi
New Jersey Devils - G Cory Schneider
New York Islanders - G Robin Lehner
New York Rangers - D Brendan Smith
Ottawa Senators - F Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Philadelphia Flyers - G Brian Elliott
Pittsburgh Penguins - F Matt Cullen
San Jose Sharks - F Joe Thornton
St Louis Blues - D Jay Bouwmeester
Tampa Bay Lightning - F Ryan Callahan
Toronto Maple Leafs - F Tyler Ennis
Vancouver Canucks - G Jacob Markstrom
Vegas Golden Knights - F Ryan Carpenter
Washington Capitals - D Brooks Orpik
Winnipeg Jets - D Dmitry Kulikov