Award Honors Perseverance, Sportsmanship and Dedication to Hockey
The San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that San Jose Sharks center Curtis Brown has been selected as its 2007 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Brown, 31, is one of the Sharks most-experienced players, competing in his 10th season in the NHL. A true leader, Brown’s faith-based optimism, determination and selfless style of play have helped set the standard for Sharks excellence.
Brown returned to San Jose this season as a free agent, following two seasons in the Chicago Blackhawks organization. He was previously acquired by San Jose at the trade deadline in 2004 and played in 12 regular season games, helping the Sharks reach their first Western Conference Finals.
In 2005-06, Brown experienced a difficult and trying season on- and off-the-ice. In 71 games, the former two-time 20-goal scorer posted career-lows in goals (five), assists (10) and points (15). Off the ice, the Brown family was faced with the loss of their four-month old daughter, Aubri, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Following the season, his contract was bought out by the Blackhawks, providing Brown the opportunity to return to San Jose.
This season, Brown has provided the Sharks some timely offense and been a stalwart on the team’s penalty-kill. Brown has posted eight goals this season, along with nine assists for 17 points in 69 games while centering the Sharks third line. Three of those eight goals have been game-winners, two have come short-handed and the team is a perfect 8-0 when he scores a goal.
In addition, serving as an unselfish team player, Brown is first among all Sharks forwards (fifth overall) in blocked shots with 66, which is also fifth among all NHL forwards.
Brown has also become a leader in the Bay Area community, participating in several events in conjunction with The Sharks Foundation including; the Fremont Bank “Reading Is Cool” program which promotes the importance of reading to Bay Area elementary school students; The Sharks Foundation Holiday adoption party, where Brown and his family purchased Christmas gifts for an underprivileged family; and The Sharks Foundation Autograph session, which raised funds for the Foundation’s beneficiaries.
In addition, he is in the exploratory process of starting a foundation to provide support to those who, like the Brown family, have experienced the loss of a child.
On Feb. 16, Brown and his wife, Ami and their two sons, Gage and Garret, welcomed the arrival of Griffin Curtis to their family.
Originally selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft (second round, 43rd overall), Brown has posted 289 points (124 goals, 164 assists) in 694 NHL games. He is slated to play in his 700th NHL game on April 1 vs. Los Angeles.
The Bill Masterton Memorial 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. The 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 NHL Writers' Association 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, and who died Jan. 15, 1968.
Former Shark Tony Granato was the recipient of the award in 1997.