SUNRISE, FL – The National Hockey League announced today that RW Richard Zednik has been named a finalist for the Masterton Trophy, along with Detroit Red Wings D Chris Chelios and Nashville Predators LW Steve Sullivan. The Masterton Trophy is awarded to “the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA).
Zednik, 33, suffered a career threatening injury on Feb. 10, 2008, in Buffalo when his carotid artery was sliced by a teammate’s skate blade. He required life-saving emergency surgery at Buffalo General Hospital after he lost nearly five pints of blood.
Zednik, retuned to the ice for the start of the 2008-09 season and refused to let the incident stop his hockey career. He played in 70 games for the Panthers this season scoring 16 goals with 17 assists and placed tied for second on the club with four game-winning tallies. On the one-year anniversary of the injury, Zednik netted the game-winning goal at the BankAtlantic Center in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bystrica, Slovakia native skated in his 700th career NHL game on Dec. 27 at Tampa Bay and scored the 200th goal of his NHL career Mar. 31 vs. Ottawa.
For his career in the NHL, Zednik has played in 745 games for Florida (2007-09), Washington (2006-07, 1995-2000), NY Islanders (2006-07) and Montreal (2000-04) scoring 200 goals with 179 assists and 563 PIM.
A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
Each of the 30 local chapters of the PHWA submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Thursday, June 18, during the 2009 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Home to more than 200 events annually and the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BankAtlantic Center was a finalist for Arena of the Year in annual awards given by trade publication Pollstar. The BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year and is also the home of Sawgrass Live presented by BankAtlantic.