Following up on the announcement of the 2023 King Clancy Memorial Trophy nominees, the NHL also released the list of the 2023 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees, which will include Clayton Keller (Arizona), Kris Letang (Pittsburgh), and Alex Stalock (Chicago). The award is annually given out to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey”.
At the end of last season, Keller suffered a broken leg in a game against the San Jose Sharks, an injury that would take six months to fully rehabilitate. He managed to start this season on opening night for the Arizona Coyotes, and played in all 82 games, scoring 37 goals and 49 assists, tying a long-time single-season point record for the Coyotes set by Keith Tkachuk in 1996-97.
In one of the most incredible stories of the 2022-23 season, Letang suffered the second stroke of his life in November of 2022, and also mourned the passing of his father, all within the span of one month. Miraculously, Letang would return in early December, scoring 29 points in 43 games after the fact. One of the long-time leaders for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Letang recovered, and continued to play a high level when many players may have called it a career.
Lastly, after only playing one game since the start of the 2020-21 season, Stalock made his return to professional hockey at 35 years old with the Chicago Blackhawks. In 27 games played in the Windy City, Stalock would produce a record of 9-15-2, carrying a .908 SV% and a 3.01 GAA. Stalock made his return to the NHL after suffering from myocarditis during the 2019-20 season, and although suffering multiple injury setbacks this year, was able to produce a quality season in Chicago.
The 2023 NHL Awards will take place at the home of the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena, on Monday, June 26th at 8:00 PM ET.