LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) have nominated veteran center Derek Armstrong as the Los Angeles Kings' nominee for the 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 hockey."
In addition, the Kings players voted Rob Blake as this year's nominee for the King Clancy Trophy. The only player in Kings history to win the King Clancy was Dave Taylor in 1990-91.
Armstrong, 33, has played in 63 games for the Kings this season and has 42 points (10-32=42) and 56 penalty minutes. For the season, Armstrong ranks fifth on the Kings in points, assists, penalty minutes and shooting percentage (9.3), and he ranks sixth in hits (55).
The 6-1, 193-pound native of Ottawa has played in 334 career regular season NHL games with the Kings, New York Rangers, Ottawa and the New York Islanders and has 175 points (58-117=175) and 221 penalty minutes. He has also played professionally for Rapperswil-Jona (Swiss-A), Manchester (American Hockey League), Bern (Swiss-A), Hartford (AHL), Detroit (International Hockey League), Utah (IHL), Worcester (AHL), Denver (IHL) and Salt Lake (IHL).
He was acquired by the Kings from the Rangers for a conditional sixth-round draft choice in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft on July 16, 2002.
Off the ice, Armstrong this season has been active as well. He has served as the player spokesman for Wednesday's Child; was active with his wife Shannon in the Kings' Adopt a Family program; was active in the Kings/spcaLA program for the prevention of animal cruelty; was a guest 'live auctioneer' at Tip-A-King '07; took part in the club's Children's Hospital Visit; and he participated in the Kings charity golf tournament.
Nominated by the PHWA, each chapter nominates one player and those 30 are then narrowed to three and put up for general vote at the end of the season. A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, MN, in the name of the Masterton Trophy Winner.
The trophy was first presented by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association in 1968 to commemorate the late William Masterton, a player of 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, as a result of an on-ice incident.
A favorite among Kings fans at STAPLES Center, Armstrong has also developed a reputation for taking responsibility with reporters, win or lose, and is a classy representative of the Kings.
Previous Kings who have won the Masterton Trophy include Dave Taylor (1990-91); Bob Bourne (1987-88) and Butch Goring (1977-78).