NEW YORK -- Goaltenders Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild and Andrew Hammond of the Ottawa Senators and defenseman Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," the National Hockey League announced today.
The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Masterton Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild
Dubnyk earned his team's Masterton Trophy nomination on the strength of a remarkable second-half run. Eight points outside of a playoff spot when he made his team debut on Jan. 15, the 28-year-old backstopped the Wild -- his fifth NHL organization in the past two seasons -- to their third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dubnyk, who set a franchise record with 38 straight starts following his acquisition from Arizona, went 27-9-2 with a 1.78 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and five shutouts after joining the Wild. Overall, he finished the season second in the NHL with a 2.07 goals-against average and .929 save percentage and was voted a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender.
Andrew Hammond, Ottawa Senators
Hammond was selected as the Senators' Masterton Trophy nominee following a record-setting stretch drive. Making his first NHL start on Feb. 18, Hammond led the Senators' playoff push by posting a 20-1-2 record in 23 decisions. The 27-year-old undrafted goaltender allowed two or fewer goals in each of his first 12 career starts, matching an NHL record set by Bruins goaltender Frank Brimsek in 1938-39. Hammond also went 14-0-1 to begin his career, becoming the second goaltender in League history to earn at least one point in each of his first 15 starts (Patrick Lalime: 14-0-2, 1996-97 w/ PIT). Hammond completed the regular season without a road regulation loss
(10-0-2), becoming the first goaltender in the NHL's modern era to do so in his first 12 such starts.
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
Letang is the Penguins' Masterton Trophy candidate for the second consecutive season, his latest nomination coming just 15 months after suffering a stroke in January 2014. He lifted his game to new heights in 2014-15, anchoring the Pittsburgh blueline and posting single-season career highs in goals (tie, 11), assists (43) and points (54) despite missing 13 games due to injury. Letang led the Penguins in average ice time per game (25:29), nearly three minutes more than any other player on the roster, and tied for second on the club in plus-minus (+12). He also was the only blueliner in the NHL to post a five-point game in 2014-15 (five assists vs. WPG on Jan. 27).
Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund
A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers' Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey and who died on January 15, 1968.
The three finalists for NHL trophies are being announced by NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA in Canada on Stanley Cup Playoff broadcasts through May 6, during pregame programming from 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., ET. The series of announcements continues on Friday, May 1, when the three finalists for the NHL Foundation Player Award will be unveiled.
IMG will produce the 2015 NHL Awards™, under the direction of executive producer Steve Mayer.
A full line up of presenters and entertainment, information on broadcasting and tickets, as well as hospitality and travel packages through PrimeSport will be announced at a future date. In what has become an annual tradition, EA SPORTS will be unveiling the Cover Athlete for the upcoming launch of NHL 16. In addition, fans can enter for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 NHL Awards™ at www.NHL.com/Vegas and tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.