Members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association have nominated Claude Giroux for the 2017-18 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The NHL trophy is awarded annually to the player who best embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey.
Giroux spoke with the official website of the Flyers on what it means to be nominated:
“It means a lot. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve been able to have a lot of help from everybody that’s involved with me, all my trainers here in Philly and my coaches and also my trainer back home Tony Greco. Just the dedication and all the time they’ve put in on me… it’s been a great journey.”
The veteran center is having an outstanding bounce-back season with 26 goals and 91 points in 76 games and is carrying the Flyers towards a playoff berth.
“I think last year was pretty tough,” added Giroux. “My mind was telling me to do something but I just couldn’t do it. At the end it was more of a mental thing and I had a really tough time. But like I said, I was able to have a good summer last summer and I had good people around me to help me get better. It was a process but right now it’s going pretty well and hopefully we can keep going.”
There are plenty of great stories and Bill Masterton nominees in the NHL this season from Jordan Staal, Kris Letang, Kyle Okposo and Chris Kreider among others, but the award winner is likely already determined.
Brian Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia earlier in the year and scored in his first game back with the Devils. Boyle is persevering after a cancer diagnosis and driving the Hockey Fights Cancer storyline. No chance anybody is beating that.
The winner is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season. A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund.
The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers’ Association 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.