The Bill Masterton Trophy, or, in other words, The “Who-Overcame-The-Most?” Award, nominations were announced Tuesday.
“Ottawa Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson, Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Joffrey Lupul and Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty have been named finalists for this year’s Bill Masteron Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
That’s all fine and dandy. However, I have one little complaint: why in the world is Max “Patches” Pacioretty being nominated? Before you crucify me, hear me out. I’m not blind. I can see why he’s being nominated. He returned from a very serious injury stemming from a little-known hit that didn’t get much media attention to have the best season of his young career. However, I believe his contention should be nulled for one reason:
“…who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Where’s the sportsmanship in a suspension?
On November 26th, 2011, the Montreal Canadiens played the Pittsburgh Penguins. During the game, “Patches” delivered an illegal hit to to the head of Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who suffered a broken nose because of the play. Pacioretty was suspended three games for the incident. This is why I believe he should have his contention revoked for this award. How can a player be nominated for a sportsmanship award if he gets suspended the season he’s being nominated for it? It baffles me. Also, he only missed, what, a month or so?
Where’s Dr. Recchi when you need him?
Other – better? – candidates:
Uhhh…Tomas Fleischmann, anyone? He missed a good portion of last season because of two blood clots in each his lungs. A career-ending and life-threatening condition. He found a place in Florida, posted career-year numbers leading the Panters in goals and points, and is currently helping the Panthers in their first playoff appareance in over a decade.
Or what about David Perron? Manny Malhotra? There are a handful of more appropriate candidates than Pacioretty.
All that being said, I like Patches. I just believe he shouldn’t have a chance of winning – let alone being nominated – because of that little suspension.