The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association announced today that Andrew Hammond has been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, by the Ottawa Chapter of the PHWA.
In February and March, Andrew Hammond went from being a little known minor league goaltender into the best story in the National Hockey League, leading the Ottawa Senators back into the playoff race by going 14-1-1 in his first 16 NHL starts.
Hammond’s story is all about dedication and perseverance.
Almost 10 years ago, Hammond’s hockey career appeared over before it started.
At 18, Hammond had quit hockey after being cut from his junior A team in B.C. After attending college for three weeks, he received a call from a former Tier II junior coach. He opted to take a step back to continue to pursue his hockey dreams, re-discovering his love for hockey.
From there, he won a pair of Canadian national junior A titles, receiving a scholarship to Bowling Green University.
Success was limited. Hammond lost his first 14 collegiate games and didn’t experience a winning season in four years of college, but played well enough to earn a professional contract from the Senators.
Despite a slow start to the 2014-15 season with the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton, Hammond stayed committed to his dream of playing in the NHL.
When it arrived, he didn’t look back, failing to allow more than two goals in his first 12 NHL starts, tying Frank Brimsek’s 76-year-old record.
- written by Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen and PHWA
No Senators player has ever won the Masterton Trophy and the team's only finalist for the award was former captain Daniel Alfredsson in 2012.
The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers' Association in 1968 to commemorate the late William Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited, to a high degree, the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, after an injury sustained during a game. It was first awarded following the 1967–68 regular season.
A grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.