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Gaborik Nominated For Bill Masterton Trophy

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 Marian Gaborik was named the Minnesota'' Wild's nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, given to the NHL player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
The Twin Cities chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) announced today the nomination of Minnesota Wild right wing Marian Gaborik for the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.  The award is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Gaborik, 25 (2/24/82), has recorded 51 points (28-23=51) in 44 games and ranks first on the team with seven GWGs, second in goals, tied for fourth with a +9 rating and fifth in scoring despite missing 34 games due to a serious groin injury suffered Oct. 20 at Anaheim.  His hard work and dedication to treating the injury allowed Gaborik to return to the lineup Jan. 6 and help lead the Wild to the playoffs for the second time in franchise history.  Minnesota is 18-1-2 in games he has scored a goal this season and 30-8-6 in contests he has played in.  The Trencin, Slovakia-native has not gone more than three straight games without a point since a four-game pointless streak Jan. 16-21, 2004.  Gaborik was the Wild’s first-ever pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft (third overall) and is the team’s all-time leader scorer with 325 points (162-163=325) in 404 games.

In addition to his role in the club’s team-wide community relation’s initiatives, Gaborik purchased a suite for 11 Wild games this season and turned them over to the Minnesota Wild community relations department to donate to local charities on his behalf.  As a direct result of his benevolence, groups from St. Paul Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Children’s HeartLink, Bolder Options and the Ronald McDonald House, as well as various others, have had an opportunity to enjoy a game as “Gaborik’s Guests.”

The winner of the Masterton Trophy is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season.  The 2005-06 recipient was forward Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks.  NHL writers first presented by the trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, who played for the Minnesota North Stars and exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.  Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968 as a result of head injuries suffered during a game.

Wes Walz (2005-06, 2000-01), Alexandre Daigle (2003-04), Dwayne Roloson (2002-03) and Richard Park (2001-02) were previously nominated for the award.

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