The Pittsburgh chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is the Penguins' Masterton Trophy nominee for the 2016-17 season.
Each year, the local PHWA chapter in all 30 cities selects a Masterton nominee from the club it covers. Then, the league-wide PHWA chooses an overall winner from those 30 candidates, with the winner announced at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas this June.
The Masterton Trophy is presented to "the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
"Though there are no shortage of worthy candidates from the Pittsburgh Penguins, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury best exemplifies the qualities that go along with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy," local PHWA chapter chair Rob Rossi said.
Fleury, 32, has formed one-half of the Penguins' outstanding netminding duo this year, going 18-8-7 with a 2.93 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. He is one of just three NHL goalies this year to have made 40-plus saves in a game at least five times.
Since enduring a rough month of November, Fleury has gone 13-4-4 with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage since December 1. Those numbers rank right alongside his career averages that include a 2.58 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.
At the outset of the season, Fleury carried a huge load with Matt Murray injured. Fleury started the first nine games of the season for the Penguins, his second-longest such streak to open a year. During that span, Fleury had a 6-2-1 record.
Later, during the final week of December, Fleury took home NHL 'Third Star' of the week honors, going 3-0 when Murray was on the shelf a second time.
The NHL's third-winningest active goaltender, Fleury is currently 3-0-2 in his last five decisions. His 21-save shutout on March 21 against Florida moved him into the top-15 in NHL history in wins (375) and into the top-30 in shutouts (44, tied).