Every year local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association nominate a player from it’s NHL city for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.
Last year, the Vancouver chapter nominated Manny Malhotra for the trophy after he recovered from a serious eye injury sustained in March 2011 to return in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals and play the entire 2011-12 season.
Which Canucks player will be nominated by the Vancouver chapter this year? The logical choice and odds-on favourite appears to be Steve Pinizzotto.
He missed the entire 2011-12 season after sustaining a separated left shoulder from an attempted hit on then-San Jose Sharks defencemen Douglas Murray in the preseason. Pinizzotto’s shoulder healed and he started the season with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League as the NHL locked out its players.
However, Pinizzotto nearly completely torn his groin on November 24, 2012 after catching in the rut in the ice. He would miss the next three months to rehabilitate a partial torn tear before finally making his NHL debut on March 14 against the Nashville Predators at age 28.
The other player worthy of consideration might be centre Ryan Kesler after battling back from torn labrum surgery in May and a wrist surgery in June, and a broken foot after just playing seven games this season.
Tweet us @FSTheCanuckWay which Canuck you think should be nominated for the Masterton Trophy or leave your comment below.