NEW YORK - Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Kurtis Foster, San Jose Sharks forward Jed Ortmeyer and Washington Capitals goalie Jose Theodore are the finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The award is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
In March 2008, Foster suffered a broken leg after he was pushed into the boards while racing for the puck on an icing play. He underwent surgery where doctors inserted a rod into his left femur to help stabilize the leg.
Foster needed a year of extensive rehabilitation and returned to play in 10 games with the Minnesota Wild. He signed with Tampa Bay in the off-season and recorded career-best totals in games (71), assists (34) and points (42).
Ortmeyer must inject a blood thinner into his stomach each day to combat a hereditary blood-clotting disorder. He first experienced clotting problems in 2001 following knee surgery.
Ortmeyer had 19 points (8-11) in 76 games this past season.
Theodore's son Chace died last summer from complications stemming from his premature birth. Inspired by his son's memory, Theodore created a fundraising program called Saves for Kids which benefits the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital where Chace spent his 54-day life.
Theodore had his best regular season since winning the Hart and Vezina Trophies in 2002. He posted an impressive 20-0-3 record over the final three months of the season.
The winner will be named June 23 at the NHL awards show in Las Vegas.