The Professional Hockey Writer’s Association has named Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman a finalist for the 2015 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
The award is typically given to players that have fought through injury or adversity in their career. Masterton was a Minnesota North Stars defensemen who died after sustaining injuries in a game in 1968.
Each team’s PHWA chapter nominates one player for the award, and the winner is voted upon by all of the PHWA chapters at the end of the regular season.
Letang returned to full health in the 2014-15 season after being sidelined the previous year with a stroke at age 26. Letang, who is a noted fitness buff, worked hard to regain his conditioning and returned to action at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Unfortunately, Letang’s 2014-15 season was also cut short, as he suffered a concussion as a result of a check into the boards by Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan on March 28.
At the time of his injury, Letang had already matched or set career highs in goals (11), assists (43) and points (54). Despite only playing in 69 games, he led all Penguins defensemen in scoring and was seventh in the NHL.
The other finalists for the 2015 Masterton Trophy are Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk and Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond.
The winner will be announced at the NHL awards show, which will be held on June 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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