DETROIT -- Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios has been named the Detroit nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Detroit Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA). The trophy is given annually to the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
In his 22nd NHL season, Chelios is one of four players on the Wings to play in the team's first 79 games, and is currently +23; his best mark since he finished +40 during 2001-02. Throughout the past three NHL seasons, Chelios has been hampered with various injuries, missing 13 games in the 2003-04 campaign and 16 during 2002-03. The oldest active player in the NHL at 44, his TOI averages 18:29, although he regularly logs 20 or more minutes. He also served as Captain of the United States at the Olympics in Torino, Italy earlier this season.
The PHWA chapters from all 30 NHL teams nominate one player from the team they cover. The winner of the award is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season. A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington MN, in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
The Bill Masterton Memorial 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 as a result of head injuries suffered during a game. A Detroit player has won the trophy twice - Steve Yzerman in 2003 and Brad Park in 1984.