The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau is a finalist for the 2020-21 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport of hockey.
Marleau joins defenseman Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild and left wing Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers as finalists.
Marleau wrapped up his 23rd NHL season celebrating a pair of historic achievements in 2020-21. On April 19, Marleau stepped onto the ice for his 1,768th career game at Vegas, surpassing Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe for the most regular-season games played in NHL history. He currently stands at 1,779 regular-season games. Additionally, Marleau became the fourth all-time player in NHL history to skate in over 900 consecutive contests and ranks second amongst all active NHL players. Marleau has not missed an NHL game since April 9, 2009.
Marleau finished his 23rd NHL season 23rd in League history in career goals (556) and 50th in career points (1,197).
"To earn a precious spot in an NHL lineup night after night, year after year, you have to earn it every single game," Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a tribute recognizing Marleau's historic feat. "You have to possess talent that is extremely elite. An incredible passion for the game. A relentless drive to stay in shape and remain impactful by continuously improving and adapting your skills so that coaches simply cannot take you out of the lineup."
Of the 365 players to ever don a Sharks uniform for at least one game, Marleau has played alongside 259 of them. He is the franchise leader in most offensive categories and has scored a game-winning goal against every current NHL team (including the Sharks), except for the Vegas Golden Knights.
The winner of the Masterton Trophy is selected by a poll among members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) at the end of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be revealed during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.
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 Jan. 15, 1968.