| Wes Walz has not missed a game and has equaled his career-high of 18 goals this season. |
The Twin Cities chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) announced today the nomination of Minnesota Wild center Wes Walz for the National Hockey League’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
“It is a great honor to be nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy,” Walz said. “I am proud to have been selected for the second time in my career.”
Walz, 35 (5/15/70), has collected 36 points (18-18=36) and is one of two players to appear in every Wild game this season. He ranks fourth on the team in goals and is tied for third with a +6 rating. The 11-year NHL veteran has enjoyed one of his best seasons on the ice after not playing hockey last season due to injury. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward has equaled his career-mark of 18 goals set in 2000-01 with Minnesota and is two points from tying his career-high of 38 set during the 1993-94 season with the Calgary Flames. Walz was also nominated for this award in 2000-01 when he collected 18 goals and 12 assists in 82 games with the Wild, his first NHL season since appearing in two games with Detroit in 1995-96.
Originally selected by the Bruins in the third round (57th overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Walz has recorded 98 goals and 133 assists for 231 points and is a +24 in 531 career NHL contests with Boston, Philadelphia, Calgary, Detroit and Minnesota. The Wild signed Walz as a free agent on June 28, 2000.
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 2003-04 recipient was defenseman Bryan Berard of the Chicago Blackhawks. NHL writers first presented 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 January 15, 1968, as the result of head injuries suffered during a game.
Alexandre Daigle (2003-04), Dwayne Roloson (2002-03), Richard Park (2001-02) and Walz (2000-01) were previously nominated for the award.