The NHL continues to release finalists this week for their major awards. Today, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli revealed the three finalists for the 2022 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, as voted on by the PHWA. New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, and Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes were named for the award.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded “to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” Each NHL team is able to put forth a nominee for the award, and voting members then select nominees from that list.
Chara earned his nomination after returning to the league for his 24th (and likely final) NHL season. The 45-year-old defenseman suited up for 72 games with the New York Islanders this season, his most games in a season since he played 73 in 2017-18. Finishing with two goals, 12 assists, and 14 points, Chara gave his best to the Islanders team that originally drafted him back in 1996. Those 14 points were actually the most he registered in a season as an Islander — he spent four seasons with the team from 1997-2001, recording a previous high of 11 points in 1999-00.
Price, the future Hall-of-Fame goaltender, battled back to play five games at the end of this season after being sidelined for the majority of the season with a knee injury and spending time in the NHLPA Player Assistance program. With the injury severe enough to cause uncertainty surrounding the future of his playing career, Price obviously did all he could in order to try and return to the crease after carrying his team to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
Hayes would be the second Flyer to win the trophy in as many years if victorious. Oskar Lindblom won the trophy last year after battling back from cancer diagnosis and treatment. Hayes played not only through injuries that limited him to just 48 games, but also dealt with the sudden news of his brother and former NHLer, Jimmy Hayes, passing away just prior to the season. Kevin still managed 31 points this season on a weak Flyers team despite the adversity.