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Masterton Trophy Finalists Announced

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

Despite a memorable regular season and playoff run in 2007-08, Sharks veteran forward Jeremy Roenick was not among the finalists named for the 2008 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) announced on Friday.

The award, under the trusteeship of the PHWA, is presented annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

In his first season donning the Teal, Roenick enjoyed a renaissance with the Sharks, posting his best numbers since 2003-04. Through 69 regular season games, he recorded 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points. Of his 14 tallies, 10 were game-winning goals. Factoring in his three shootout-determining goals, Roenick finished the season with 13 game-deciding goals which paced the entire League.

In addition to netting the determining goal in 13 of San Jose’s 49 regular season victories, Roenick experienced a hallmark year scoring the 1,200th point of his storied career on March 28, 2008 in Anaheim and his 500th goal on Nov. 10, 2007 against Phoenix, becoming just the third American born player and 40th in League history to score 500 goals.

Roenick continued his uplifting play through the playoffs, skating in all but one of San Jose’s postseason contests. Most noticeably, he had two goals and two assists (2-2=4) for the Sharks in the deciding Game 7 win over Calgary on April 22, 2008.

His four points were the most by an NHL player in the seventh game of a playoff series since May 29, 1993, when Wayne Gretzky had three goals and one assist for the Kings in their 5-4 win at Toronto. The four points tied the Sharks franchise record for a postseason game and were the most in a playoff period by a Sharks skater.

Though Roenick is slated to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, early indications suggest the 19-year veteran could be in the lineup for San Jose in 2008-09.

“I’m going to take a couple weeks here,” said the 38-year-old center about making a decision to keep playing. “It’s no secret that I felt really good this year. My love for the game has returned. My energy for the game, my passion for it, is as high as it’s ever been. Finishing short is obviously not how I wanted to leave it.

“Doug Wilson has left the opportunity up to me,” he continued. “I’m sure we’ll chat in a couple weeks and make a final decision. But I feel pretty good right now as a hockey player and a person.”

Though Roenick will not claim Masterton Trophy honors this season, the three finalists, left wing Jason Blake of the Toronto Maple Leafs, defenseman Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings and right wing Fernando Pisani of the Edmonton Oilers, are each deserving of the award in their own right.

Blake appeared in all 82 games for the Leafs this season despite being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia in October. Pisani missed the first 26 games of the season due to ulcerative colitis, but recovered and returned for Edmonton’s final 56 games. Meanwhile Detroit’s Chelios opened his 24th season, becoming the second-oldest player in NHL history behind only Gordie Howe.

The Masterton Trophy winner will be announced Thursday, June 12 during the 2008 NHL Awards Television Special, which will be broadcast live throughout Canada on CBC and the United States on VERSUS from the historic Elgin Theatre in Toronto. The PHWA will make a donation to the Masterton Scholarship Fund in honor of the winner.

The trophy was presented to the NHL by the PHWA in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton of the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died January 15, 1968.

Three of the four Sharks that made the trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Quebec City have appeared in games for their native nations. Douglas Murray made his international debut on Thursday night for Sweden, helping them to an 8-1 victory over Denmark while posting a plus-2 player rating and collecting a pair of highlight reel open ice hits in 19:22 of ice time.

Marcel Goc made his first appearance for Germany on Thursday night while teammate Dimitri Patzold made his second appearance in net. However Germany fell to the United States, 6-4, in a back and forth battle that was closer than the final score indicated. Patzold made 36 saves on 41 shots, but the Americans scored late in the third on the power play and added an empty net goal for the victory.

Evgeni Nabokov rounds out the fourth Sharks player competing at the 2008 IIHF World Championships, but was inactive on Friday afternoon for Russia. Nabokov looked on as Belarus jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, then watched Russia battle back to take a 3-2 lead, just to see Belarus tie the game again at 3-3. The game could not be decided in regulation or overtime, but a shootout tally by Andrei Morozov was the difference as Russia emerged with the 4-3 (SO) victory in the preliminary round of the tournament.

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