OTTAWA - The Ottawa chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced the selection of Craig Anderson as the Ottawa Senators' nominee for the 2016-17 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
While this has been a strong season for the Senators' goaltender on the ice, it's been a difficult and trying year for the Anderson family after they learned his wife Nicholle was diagnosed with a rare form of throat cancer in late-October while the team was in Vancouver.
After leaving the Senators briefly to be with Nicholle, Anderson returned to the club at her urging on Oct. 29 when the club lost backup goalie Andrew Hammond to a groin injury in Calgary. Though, Nicholle was still trying to deal with the shock of the diagnosis, she told her husband "your team needs you" and he had a memorable effort on Oct. 30 in Edmonton. Anderson made 37 stops in a 2-0 shutout win at Rogers Place.
Since then, it's been a difficult rollercoaster ride for Anderson and his family. He left the team in early-December to be at Nicholle's side while she underwent treatment for her cancer at a New York-based facility and came back after the all-star break.
On March 11, his 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche allowed him to set the franchise record for wins with 147 which moved him one ahead of Patrick Lalime (146) plus Anderson played the 500th game of his NHL career on Saturday in Montreal. Through everything that's happening away from the ice, the rink has looked like it has served as an escape for Anderson.
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