The Toronto chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has chosen goaltender James Reimer as its nominee for the 2013 Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded for ‘perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey’.
Selected 99th overall in the 2006 draft behind 10 other goaltenders, Reimer has attained the No. 1 position with the Leafs through many challenging circumstances. He had head and neck injuries after starting 2011-12 with a record of 4-0-1 and after six wins in eight starts this season, he overcame a knee injury. Yet he approaches the end of the regular season with a .926 save percentage, among the league’s top five. Since the league started tracking the statistic in 1983-84, Reimer’s current save percentage is the highest single-season mark by an eligible Leafs goaltender.
Reimer has been a major factor in gaining Toronto’s first playoff berth since 2004. He defeated division rival Ottawa for the sixth time in as many road decisions April 20 clinching the playoff spot. On April 8, Reimer recorded his 50th win, joining only 16 other Leaf goalies in that category. He is publically supportive of teammates on one of the league’s youngest clubs, in a major media market. The native of Morweena, Man., is also the fundraising force behind Ramona’s Reach and Reimer’s Readers. This season, he donated a suite for two games to Toronto Youth Development empowering at-risk, inner-city youth, through education, sports and character development.
Recent Masterton nominees from the Leafs include Joffrey Lupul, Jonas Gustavsson and Jason Blake (the 2008 Masterton winner). Current Leaf Phil Kessel won the Masterton in 2007 with Boston.
Each NHL city’s PWHA chapter nominates a Masterton candidate and the winner is chosen from a vote of all members at the end of the season. The Masterton is part of the league’s televised awards ceremony.
For more information, contact Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun, PHWA Chapter Chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org.