(April 18, 2006) -- The Toronto chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has chosen centre Jason Allison as its nominee for the 2006 Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded for "perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey'.
Prior to joining the Maple Leafs as a free agent, Allison had missed all but 26 games between the start of the 2002-03 season and signing with Toronto last summer. He recovered from a variety of injuries, including knee, hip, groin, and neck problems, to salvage his National Hockey League career.
He played 66 games for the Leafs before suffering a broken hand, scoring 17 goals and adding 43 assists, ranking him among the top three scorers on the club. It was the fifth time in his career he reached at least 60 points. The 30-year-old also had nine power play goals, two game-winning goals, a 15.3% shooting percentage and a 50.1% faceoff percentage. One of the Leafs most physical players despite his medical history, he exceeded expectations by averaging close to 19 minutes a game.
Recent Masterton nominees from Toronto include Ed Belfour, Steve Thomas and Joe Nieuwendyk. The 2004 Masterton winner was Bryan Berard of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Each NHL city's PWHA chapter nominates a Masterton candidate and the winner is chosen from a vote of the entire PHWA at the end of the season. The Masterton is part of the league's televised awards ceremonies in June.