The San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that San Jose Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick has been selected as its 2008 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
One of the most dynamic and passionate players to ever play the game, Roenick, 38, has experienced a career-rejuvenation this season after much of the hockey world expected him to retire following the 2006-07 campaign.
Beginning his first season in San Jose, Roenick was quick to add to his 495 career goals, posting two in his second game against Vancouver on Oct. 5. He became just the third American-born player to reach the 500-goal plateau on Nov. 10 vs. Phoenix with a storybook “dump-in” goal that caromed off the glass and past Coyotes goalie Alexander Auld, who departed the crease to play the puck behind the net.
The celebration following his 500th career goal exemplified the season for Roenick. After being named the game’s Number One star, he took to the ice with his son Brett on his back to the delight of the crowd.
A vocal leader in the locker room, Roenick has been an important contributor on the ice. Of his 11 goals this season, eight of them have been game-winners – putting him tied-for-third in the NHL in that category. In addition to his eight game-winners, he’s had two shootout-deciding goals – including one coming against Chicago, the team that he broke into the League with back in 1988. He played in his 1,300th game in a 4-3 victory vs. Nashville on Feb. 9.
In 19 NHL seasons with Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Jose, “J.R.” has served as one of hockey’s greatest ambassadors and spokespersons. Always a willing subject for the local and national media, his love of the game and passion for excellence has been contagious on the teams for which he has played.
Roenick’s impact in pop culture extends from his clothing line, Muze Clothing, to his icon status that led to Vince Vaughan’s character “Trent” in the cult-classic movie “Swingers” stating “Ya know, it's not so much me as Roenick; he's good,” in reference to Roenick’s abilities on the NHLPA Hockey 93 Sega Genesis video game.
The nine-time NHL All-Star currently sits 37th on the NHL’s all-time goals list with 506 (ninth among active players) and 1,194 points in 1,312 NHL games.
Originally selected by the Blackhawks in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft (first round, 8th overall), his legacy as one of the best American-born hockey players in history is ironclad. Amongst all U.S.-born players, he ranks second in goals (506), sixth in assists (688) and third in games played (1,312).
The Masterton Trophy winner is selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and a $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the winner.
The PHWA first presented the Masterton Trophy 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. Masterton died Jan. 15, 1968 following an injury suffered in a game..
Former Shark Tony Granato received the award in 1997.