The Toronto chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced Friday that it has selected defenceman Stephane Robidas
as its nominee for the 2015 Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded for ‘perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey’.
Robidas, 38, signed as a free agent this past off-season, after suffering a broken leg on two different occasions last season. Despite the injuries, Robidas committed himself to a full conditioning program and was able to join the starting lineup as scheduled on opening night against Montreal.
On many occasions this season, coaches and teammates cited Stephane’s influence in the improvements made by younger Maple Leaf defencemen, notably Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly.
Robidas skated in his 900th National Hockey League game during his 52-game tenure with Toronto in 2014-15, before shoulder surgery ended his season in mid-March.
The Sherbrooke, Quebec native collected one goal and six assists this season, while averaging 17:04 of ice time per game and leading all Maple Leaf skaters with a plus/minus rating of +8. Robidas, who was selected 164th overall, has played more games than any other player selected after the fourth round in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.
Recent Masterton nominees from Toronto include goaltender James Reimer and forward Joffrey Lupul. Each NHL city’s PHWA chapter nominates a Masterton candidate and the winner is chosen from a vote of the entire PHWA at the end of the regular season. The Masterton presentation is part of the league’s award ceremony on June 24 in Las Vegas.