The Dallas chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) announced today that Philippe Boucher is its nominee for the 2003-04 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The Masterton Trophy is presented annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The winner will be selected at the end of the regular season by a poll of the PHWA's 30 chapters. Last year's recipient was forward Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings.
"I am honored to have been nominated for this prestigious award," said Boucher. "I would like to thank all of the people who have made my dream of playing in the National Hockey League come true. I especially want to thank my family for their support over the years and the Dallas organization which has given me a chance to compete on a Stanley Cup caliber team."
Boucher, 31, is in his 12th NHL season. He has appeared in 524 career NHL contests, registering 54 goals and 129 assists for 183 points. This season with Dallas, Boucher has set a career-high in goals (8) and currently ranks fourth on the team in plus/minus (+15). The Stars are 37-17-11-2 when he is in the lineup this season and 3-7-2-0 when he is not.
Signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 2, 2002, Boucher has battled several injuries over his career, including a fractured left orbital bone suffered on Nov. 28 vs. New Jersey of this season. He missed only nine games due to the injury. Boucher has also had wrist surgery which caused him to miss the final 31 regular season games in 1994-95, surgery on his right hand at the end of 1995-96, thyroiditis in 1997-98, foot surgery causing him to miss virtually the entire 1999-00 season, and an eye injury during the 2002 playoffs after being hit by a deflected puck.
NHL writers first presented the trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, who played for the Minnesota North Stars and died on January 15, 1968, as the result of head injuries suffered during a game. Masterton's number 19 has never been worn by another Stars player and was officially retired on January 17, 1987.
Ulf Dahlen was Dallas' nominee for the 2002-03 season.