Steven Stamkos isn’t the only player that could possibly win an NHL achievement award this season.
Martin St. Louis was chosen to be the representative of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy.
This award goes to the player who has shown perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey.
The award was first presented in 1968 to Claude Provost of the Montreal Canadiens in honor of the death of Minnesota North Star player Bill Masterson who is thought to have died from complications due to his dedication and passion to the game.
Masterson took massive hits including hits to the head and was complaining of bad migraines for a week. His teammates also noticed discoloration in his face and talked to the trainer to look at him. It was no use as Masterson would always say he’s fine and keep playing the game he loves until the day he died after complications from a hard hit to the head from behind. He collapsed during his last game on January 15, 1968.
Obviously this award is a great honor to receive not just as recognition for one’s hard works but also as a memorial to Bill Masterson. St. Louis will be competing against 29 other players in the league for this award as well.
St. Louis missed five games in December after getting injured in practice. A teammate shot a puck and accidently hit St. Louis in the head breaking his nose and fracturing the orbital bone.
St. Louis is one of two players on the Lightning’s current roster who were on Tampa Bay’s 2003-04 Stanley Cup roster. The other player is team captain Vincent Lecavalier.
With the injury St. Louis suffered this year it will be only the third time in his 11 year career in Tampa that he has not played at least 80 games per season.
Even the NHL’s leading scorer and teammate Steven Stamkos said after he scored his 50th goal this year that St. Louis is a large reason for his current success. St. Louis has had some success himself this year as well. He is 21st in points this season with 23 goals and 64 points.