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Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy

The Bill Masterson Memorial trophy is awarded to the the player which best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

photo of NHL trophy

First Year Awarded:

The Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy was first awarded following the 1967-68 regular season.

In honour of:

The trophy is named in honour of the late Bill Masterton, a Minnesota North Stars player who on January 13, 1968, took a body check after passing the puck, and fell backwards, hitting his head on the ice. He left the ice unconscious, and never awoke from his coma. Two days later, Bill Masterton became the first on-ice casualty in NHL history.

Additional Notes:

The Bill Masterson trophy is an interesting one in that its not awarded so much based on a players skill as it is on the heart, courage, determination and leadership that is demonstrated by the recipient. The award is often given to players that have shown incredible strength in coming back from potential career or life ending illness or injuries. Among these winners include 5 players who have overcame various forms of cancer (Mario Lemieux - Hodgkins lymphoma, Saku Koivu and John Cullen - non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Phil Kessel - testicular cancer and Jason Blake - chronic myelogenous leukemia).