PHWA, PHF announce Media Partnership & Women’s Hockey Chapter

BOSTON, MA — The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF), in association with the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA), has announced a new media partnership that includes the PHWA independently voting on an array of PHF annual awards. The partnership began with the introduction of a PHWA Women’s Hockey Chapter that includes 13 inaugural members who cast ballots to determine the PHF’s Most Valuable Player of the 2022-23 season.

“The growth of professional women’s hockey is accelerated with impactful collaborations and increased visibility in the media which make this partnership with the PHWA a win for our sport,” PHF commissioner Reagan Carey said. “We’re proud that the PHWA has recognized a significant opportunity with thePHF and the thriving community of dedicated and talented women’s hockey contributors we’re grateful for. Their influence as part of our awards process is another example of trailblazing initiatives within the PHF and is an important step in the enhancement and amplification of these prestigious honors.”

The PHWA has independently voted on the biggest NHL Awards, including the Hart, Norris, Calder, Selke, Lady Byng, and Conn Smythe trophies, each season for more than six decades. The PHWA managed the PHF’s MVP voting process for 2023 and the partnership is expected to expand next season to include other awards that celebrate and honor annual excellence in the game. The PHWA will also have a seat at the table in helping shape the PHF’s media access policy in the near future.

“We are thrilled to witness the growth of women’s hockey, and we’re appreciative of the stability, resources, and leadership that the PHF has demonstrated,” PHWA president Frank Seravalli said. “We are excited to collaborate with the PHF and branch out into a league beyond the NHL for the first time in our organization’s 56-year history. It was time. Our newest members have poured their souls into covering the women’s game like a blanket, and we’re proud to bolster the premier women’s hockey writers on the planet with more support and resources to aid and enhance their coverage.”

Finalists for 2022-23 PHF MVP and other annual league awards will be announced in advance of Sunday’s 2023 Isobel Cup Championship at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona, as the Toronto Six meet the Minnesota Whitecaps.

Award recipients will be announced individually following the final.

PHWA reveals 2023 NHL Awards ballots

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Since 1967, the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) has been counted on to independently vote on six major NHL Awards, as well as end-of-season All-Star and All-Rookie teams.

For the sixth consecutive year, the PHWA has published the ballot of each individual voter in the interest of full transparency.

“The 2022-23 NHL season will be remembered forever for some of the most incredible individual performances in decades,” said PHWA President Frank Seravalli. “Once again, the PHWA delivered with an honest and fair voting process that, in the end, recognized extremely deserving winners.

“We’re incredibly proud of the countless hours our voters put into their ballots – researching, watching at the rink, and gathering opinions from trusted sources to make sure we get it right. With more attention and scrutiny on our ballots than ever before, we’ve also put more time and thought into the process.”

The PHWA voting contingent this season included 180 members and 20 invited international broadcasters.

Out of 200 ballots distributed, three selected voters did not return a ballot in the allotted time: Tim Rosenthal (Bruins Daily), Henrik Sjoberg (HockeyNews.Se) and Cheryl Pounder (TSN). As per PHWA policy, those members have lost future voting privileges.

There were also procedural errors in the voting process that resulted in some ballots being rejected. Phil Thompson (Chicago Tribune) made an ineligible selection for the Calder Trophy, which nullified his trophy selections. Marc De Foy (Journal de Montréal), Ken Powtak (Associated Press), Gunnar Nordstrom (Expressen), Scott Powers (The Athletic) and Kyle Fredrickson (Denver Gazette) made omissions resulting in their All-Star team selections being voided. Salim Valji (TSN) and Harman Dayal (The Athletic) made ineligible selections nullifying their All-Rookie team selections.

In total, 200 ballots were distributed and of the 197 that were returned, 196 were counted for trophies, 192 were counted for All-Star teams, and 195 were counted for the All-Rookie team.

Each individual vote can be viewed at the links below:

Hart Memorial Trophy

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Calder Memorial Trophy

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

2022-23 All-Star Team: Center

2022-23 All-Star Team: Left Wing

2022-23 All-Star Team: Right Wing

2022-23 All-Star Team: Defense

2022-23 All-Star Team: Goaltender

2022-23 All-Rookie Team: Forward

2022-23 All-Rookie Team: Defense

2022-23 All-Rookie Team: Goaltender

The PHWA wishes to congratulate all 2023 NHL Award winners and finalists on their well-deserved honors.​​

Hurricanes, Oilers selected as 2023 Dick Dillman Award winners for PR excellence

The Professional Hockey Writers Association is pleased to announce the Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers have been selected as 2023 winners of the Dick Dillman Award, presented annually to honor the excellence of NHL public relations staffs in each conference.

The Hurricanes are no stranger to the Dillman, having been awarded the Dillman Trophy in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Similarly, the Oilers were honored by the selection committee in 2020-21.

“It’s no secret that PR staffs are one of the linchpins to storytelling for journalists, and the staffs in Edmonton and Carolina have shown themselves to be among the class of the hockey world time and time again,” said PHWA president Frank Seravalli. “Without their assistance and support, we’d have a much more difficult time telling hockey’s stories on a daily basis and serving as the conduit between fans and the players and executives they’re craving to learn more about. Thank you to Mike Sundheim and Jamie Cartmell and their teams for setting the bar for how to develop a rapport and relationship with the media in 2023.”

In Edmonton, the Oilers’ communications department is led by Jamie Cartmell, director of hockey communications, along with hockey communications manager Shawn May. 

“We’re honoured and humbled to be selected as the 2023 Dick Dillman Award winner,” said Cartmell. “Our thanks to not only to the voting members of the PHWA for this recognition, but also our players, coaches and hockey operations staff whose cooperation and willingness to share their time and their stories have made this award possible. Thanks also to those who cover the Edmonton Oilers, your efforts are critical to our success off the ice and it’s our pleasure to work with you.”

The Carolina Hurricanes public relations staff is headed by Mike Sundheim, longtime vice president of communications and team services, along with Mike Brown, manager of communications and David Piper, communications coordinator. 

“We take pride in working with writers from across the league and trying to be as helpful as we can,” Sundheim said. “That wouldn’t be possible without buy-in from our owner, GM, coaching staff and players, and for that we are grateful. Thank you to the PHWA for this honor, which truly means a lot to our staff.”

The Dillman Award is presented in honor of the late, great Minnesota North Stars public relations guru Dick Dillman. The Dillman committee is chaired by Dillman’s daughter, Lisa Dillman, and voting is conducted by a panel of senior PHWA members.

PHWA Ballots: Marchessault’s 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy win

LAS VEGAS — Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault was the overwhelmingly choice for 57th winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs by a panel of Professional Hockey Writers Association members on Tuesday night.

Marchessault, 32, became the first undrafted player since Wayne Gretzky in 1988 to collect the Conn Smythe Trophy. By scoring 13 clutch goals over Vegas’ playoff run – 10 of which either tied the game or gave the Golden Knights the lead – Marchessault earned 13 of 18 possible first place votes.

Vegas teammates Jack Eichel and Adin Hill finished second and third in voting, respectively, while Golden Knights captain Mark Stone and Florida forward Matthew Tkachuk also garnered votes. Eichel, who paced the postseason in points, earned the other five first place votes.

Over the course of the Golden Knights’ 59-day quest for hockey’s holy grail, Marchessault tied for the postseason lead in goals (13) and finished second in points (25). He registered at least one point in all five of the Stanley Cup Final games, bridging a total 10-game point streak that spanned the last five games of the Western Conference Final. One of the original six Golden Misfits still remaining with the Golden Knights since the 2017 Expansion Draft, Marchessault has appeared in every playoff game in Vegas franchise history.

Marchessault is one of only 10 wingers to win the Conn Smythe, joining Alex Ovechkin (2018), Justin Williams (2014) and Patrick Kane (2013) in the NHL’s salary cap era. The 5-foot-9 native of Cap-Rouge, Quebec, played for three different teams in his first four years in the NHL before being castoff alongside Reilly Smith by the Florida Panthers in the Expansion Draft. Marchessault lifted the Conn Smythe while Smith netted the Cup-clinching goal against their former team in the Final.

In the interest of full transparency, the PHWA has once again revealed each individual ballot for all 18 Conn Smythe voters:

2023 Conn Smythe Trophy ballots from Professional Hockey Writers Association members.

Voting Point Totals
Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas: 80 points (13 first place votes)
Jack Eichel, Vegas: 56 points (5 first place votes)
Adin Hill, Vegas: 17 points
Mark Stone, Vegas: 8 points
Matthew Tkachuk, Florida: 1 point

Points were awarded on a 5-3-1 basis and the deadline to submit ballots to the NHL occurred with 10 minutes remaining in Game 5.

Mark Mulvoy selected as 2023 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award winner

TORONTO (June 1, 2023) – Frank Seravalli, President of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, announced today that Mark Mulvoy will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Dan Rusanowsky will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

Mark Mulvoy’s incredible career in sports journalism began at his hometown Boston Globe in the 1960s. In the decades that followed he made his mark at Sports Illustrated, rising through the ranks to become the youngest managing editor in the magazine’s history. His passion for hockey never wavered, and found expression in books like “My Game” with Bobby Orr and “Face off at the Summit” with Ken Dryden.

“Mark Mulvoy was a ground-breaking reporter as the first foreigner given access behind enemy lines to lift the curtain on the Soviet style of play”, said Seravalli. “Mulvoy had boots on the ground in Moscow a handful of years before the ’72 Summit Series, then of course was there to chronicle history. More importantly, he kept hockey in the hands and doctor’s offices of the voracious Sports Illustrated readers. He was hockey’s best friend at a time of critical period of growth for the sport.”

Dan Rusanowsky has been the radio voice of the San Jose Sharks since the team’s inception in 1991. One of the club’s most recognizable figures both on-and-off the ice, Rusanowsky directs the Sharks Radio Network, contributes to the team’s official game program, and provides regular columns and broadcast reports for A native of Connecticut, Rusanowsky began his broadcast career as the voice of St. Lawrence University’s NCAA Division I hockey program and the American Hockey League’s New Haven Nighthawks.

“Dan has an insatiable love for radio and has been an integral part of promoting the game of hockey in the Bay area on that medium from day one​ of the San Joes Sharks’ existence in 1991,” said Kaiton. “He is extremely worthy of this honour.”

Mulvoy and Rusanowsky will receive their awards at the “Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards Luncheon” in Toronto on Monday, November 13, 2023, and their award plaques will be displayed in the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside past award recipients.

Recipients of these awards, as selected by their respective associations, are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame as “Media Honourees” – a separate distinction from individuals inducted as “Honoured Members.”

Honoured Members are selected by the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

The 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend begins on Friday, November 10, 2023, culminating with the Induction Celebration on Monday, November 13, 2023. This year’s inductees will be announced live on TSN on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.

  • Named in honour of the late Montreal newspaper reporter, the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in recognition of distinguished members of the hockey writing profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to the game of hockey.
  • Named in honour of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.

2023 Masterton Memorial Trophy finalists named

NEW YORK – Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock are the three finalists for the 2022-23 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” the National Hockey League announced today.

The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed live during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26.

Following are the finalists for the Masterton Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Clayton Keller, RW, Arizona Coyotes

Keller suffered a fractured femur during a game versus the San Jose Sharks on March 30, 2022 and underwent six months of rehab to be ready for the start of what became a career season in 2022-23. He appeared in all 82 games and set career highs in goals (37), assists (49) and points (86), matching the highest points total by a Coyotes player since the team moved to Arizona (Keith Tkachuk, 52-34 — 86 in 1996-97). Keller represented the Coyotes at the 2023 NHL All-Star Game and posted 24 points in March, the most ever in a month by a Coyote. “His mental toughness is probably the part I’m most proud of because I know what had to be going through his mind immediately after the injury and the surgery,” his father, Bryan Keller, told PHNX. “He had to wait a couple of days to start physical therapy, but once he was on the walker, he goes, ‘I’ll be skating in six weeks.’ And then once he started skating, he had alreadyset a goal that he would be ready for opening night, which he was.”

Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins

Letang persevered through a stroke, the second of his lifetime, and mourned the passing of his father within a span of four weeks during the season. Through it all, he remained a Penguins cornerstone in his 17th season with the club. He ranked 10th among all NHL players in ice time per game (24:51) and recorded 12-29–41 in 64 games. Letang is a Masterton Trophy finalist for the second time, finishing as a runner-up to Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk in 2014-15. “Obviously, there are some tough times, there’s emotional times. But at the end of the day, I always thought that I was going to push through it and be able to go on the other side and be the same or better,” Letang told The Athletic. “I always kind of took pride to be able to bring it every day. That’s how I was raised – never back down from a challenge or to never quit when you’re down.”

Alex Stalock, G, Chicago Blackhawks

Stalock signed as a free agent with the Blackhawks in July 2022, determined to regain an NHL roster spot. The 35-year-old, 11-year NHL veteran had appeared in one League game over the prior two seasons, having been diagnosed with myocarditis after testing positive for COVID-19 in 2019-20. Stalockquickly won over teammates with his off-ice presence and on-ice performance while battling through setbacks ranging from concussions to oculomotor dysfunction, a vision problem that affects the central nervous system. He finished the season at 9-15-2 with a 3.01 GAA in 27 games. “The last couple of years have been tough with what I’ve gone through,” Stalock told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Honestly, going through it, were there points where I had doubts in my mind that I would ever play again? Yeah. But at the same time, it’s the way I’m wired that I wouldn’t let that be the end of it.”

PHWA Women’s Hockey Chapter votes Loren Gabel as MVP of Premier Hockey Federation

The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced Boston Pride newcomer Loren Gabel has been selected as both the PHF Most Valuable Player and Outstanding Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season.

The MVP award was determined by an independent vote conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) Women’s Hockey Chapter, while the Outstanding Player of the Year award recipient was selected by members of the PHF Players’ Association (PHFPA).

This year marked the first time that PHWA members voted on PHF MVP.

“It is an absolute honor to win the 2022-23 MVP and Outstanding Player of the Year awards, and I am proud to be recognized by my fellow players and by the dedicated media that cover this league,” said Gabel. “I couldn’t have done it without every single person who has helped me get to this point. The PHF has a tremendous amount of talent, and I am fortunate that I get to play alongside and against some of the best every day. I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to play in Boston, and I am looking forward to my future in the PHF.”

The MVP and Outstanding Player of the Year honors bring Gabel’s 2022-23 awards count to four, making her one of the most decorated players in single-season history. She was also selected as the PHF Newcomer of the Year and earned the Offensive Player of the Year award as the league’s top regular-season scorer.

Gabel helped Boston finish in first place in the overall standings with the league’s highest-scoring offense. Her 40 points in 22 games tied a single-season record, while her 20 goals and 20 assists were both leading figures that gave the league its first offensive triple-crown winner since the inaugural 2015-16 campaign.

“As chair of the newly formed Women’s Hockey Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA), it is an honor to announce Boston Pride forward Loren Gabel as the 2023 PHF Most Valuable Player,” PHWA chair Erica L. Ayala said. “Although this isn’t the first time media have voted for league awards, this is the inaugural year media have voted as members of the PHWA. Loren received six first-ballot votes from our panel of 13 women’s hockey reporters and led all vote-getters with 43 points overall. It was an honor to represent the PHWA alongside Commissioner Reagan Carey, PHF Players Association Executive Director Nicole Corriero, and the league’s first-ever MVP Brianna Decker, to surprise Loren with the news. Congratulations to Loren on a spectacular first season! We look forward to all that is to come in what we hope is a long professional hockey career.”

Loren GabelBoston Pride64143
Kennedy MarchmentConnecticut Whale35434
Corinne SchroederBoston Pride22218
Brittany HowardToronto Six11210
Jade Downie-LandryMontréal Force1016
Ann-Sophie BettezMontréal Force0103
Mikyla Grant-MentisBuffalo Beauts0022
Fanni Garat-GasparicsMetropolitan Riveters0011

PHWA announces 2023 Masterton Trophy nominees

The Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) is pleased to announce the 2023 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees.

Each of the PHWA’s 32 local chapters submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.”

The top three vote-getters, as determined by a membership-wide runoff, will be designated as finalists. The Masterton Trophy will be awarded, along with the other NHL major awards, during the Stanley Cup Final.

The following are this year’s nominees:

ANAHEIM — JAKOB SILFVERBERG: The 32-year-old Silfverberg has represented hard-working consistency over his 10 seasons with the Ducks but his ability to persist and give them some effective play after dealing with health issues in recent years is why he deserves to be nominated for his perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. He has overcome major hip surgery and blood clotting issues in his leg in the last two years. Healthy again, Silfverberg has missed only one game and brought his offensive production back into double digits in goals (10) and assists (16) while remaining dedicated to playing at both ends of the ice.

ARIZONA — CLAYTON KELLER: Clayton Keller could have focused his entire offseason on rehab. When he broke his right femur into two clean pieces after crashing into the boards on March 30, 2022, most analysts — internal and external — figured he would miss the start of the season. But this summer wasn’t just about getting healthy; it was about getting better. On his own dime, Keller hired a battery of specialists to help with everything from movement and mental state to on-ice strategy. Now he’s threatening to break Keith Tkachuk’s single-season Coyotes franchise points record, and he has blossomed into a bona fide NHL superstar.

BOSTON — NICK FOLIGNO: After a challenging first season with the Boston Bruins where injuries got in the way, Nick Foligno showed his determination and perseverance in enjoying a bounce-back season in Boston. After scoring just two goals in 2021-22, the 35-year-old Foligno rebounded with 10 goals and 26 points in 60 games while playing a vital bottom-6 role for a Boston Bruins hockey team that took the rest of the NHL by absolute storm. His leadership off the ice also helped tighten the team’s bond while shepherding along some of his younger teammates and lightening the captaincy load on Patrice Bergeron.

BUFFALO — CRAIG ANDERSON: The NHL’s oldest player at 41 years, goalie Craig Anderson agreed to come back for one more season and has been a major presence in both the locker room and on the ice. Coach Don Granato considers Anderson another coach and has often spoken of the calming influence the goalie has had on the NHL’s youngest team. Anderson, the 2017 Masterton winner while with Ottawa, has navigated Buffalo’s three-goalie rotation to win at least 10 games for the 15th time in his career while posting a .908 save percentage.

CALGARY — MIKAEL BACKLUND: Flames center Mikael Backlund is not only an example of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game, but you can add another important word to the list — loyalty. In March, Backlund joined an exclusive club by becoming just the third player to log 900 career regular-season appearances on behalf of the Flames franchise. The 34-year-old has been a model citizen around the Scotiabank Saddledome. He’s reliable on the ice, a perennial contender for the fittest Flame title, a leader in the locker room, and active in a community he has now called home for the past 14 seasons.

CAROLINA — JORDAN MARTINOOK: Jordan Martinook had to hold his breath at the start of the season after the Hurricanes put him on waivers in a cap-related move. Five months later, it’s hard to imagine Carolina without him. The 30-year-old alternate captain, who has battled injuries the past three seasons, has cemented himself in the Hurricanes’ top nine by becoming an invaluable part of the team’s shutdown line. His 11 goals are one shy of his total from the last three years, and his 31 points are a career-high. Most importantly, he’s a locker room leader and the ultimate team-first player.

CHICAGO — ALEX STALOCK: The Masterton shouldn’t just be a comeback player of the year award, but Alex Stalock’s dedication and perseverance in the face of the unknown — a diagnosis of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) following a bout with Covid-19 that allowed him to play just one NHL game over the 2021 and 2022-23 seasons — can’t be understated. And the gregarious goalie’s popularity and respect leaguewide despite being a journeyman/tweener throughout his career underscores his high level of sportsmanship. That he’s played so well (and so entertainingly) behind such a terrible team despite a concussion and ocular dysfunction (separate injuries) only boosts his case.

COLORADO — ANDREW COGLIANO: If you leave the Avalanche dressing room following a morning skate, you’ll probably see Andrew Cogliano running springs or doing some form of squat. At 35 years old and 1,200-plus games into his NHL career, Cogliano is as dedicated to his craft as ever. Cogliano came to Colorado from San Jose at the 2022 trade deadline and, as one of the most respected veterans in the league, became an instant leader, giving a memorable speech to the team ahead of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. After winning his first championship, he re-signed with Colorado for another year, and he has his most goals in a season since 2017-18.

COLUMBUS — BOONE JENNER: During a 10-year NHL career, Boone Jenner has built a reputation as one of the league’s most dedicated and respected players. The Columbus chapter of the PHWA is proud to nominate him for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. Jenner, 29, is relentlessly competitive but rarely crosses the line with opponents or officials. He has played as the Blue Jackets’ No. 1 center all season, playing higher in the lineup because of a desperate need on the Columbus roster. Despite missing three weeks (11 games) with a broken thumb, Jenner has a club-leading 26 goals, the second-highest total of his career.

DALLAS — JAMIE BENN: In the four years coming into this season, Jamie Benn’s play was heavily scrutinized by those inside the Stars organization and those on the outside. Benn rose to prominence as a prolific scorer but his production took a dip since the 2018-19 season. After an offseason of altering his workout routine, Benn is having one of his most productive seasons in half a decade. He also played in his 1,000th career NHL game in February and became the longest-tenured captain in franchise history.

DETROIT — ROBBY FABBRI: At age 27, Fabbri already has undergone three ACL surgeries. His latest one delayed his debut this season to Jan. 4. . Fabbri’s determination showed in how energetically and effectively he played, as he recorded goals in three of his first four games. He immediately elbowed his way into the top six mix and power play time. Fabbri appeared in 28 games, recording seven goals and nine assists.

EDMONTON — DEREK RYAN: Derek Ryan was an undrafted 24-year-old when he graduated from the University of Alberta Golden Bears 12 years ago, and left Edmonton for four years of pro hockey Europe. He rekindled his NHL dream in 2015, Carolina camp fodder at age 29. Today he is 36 and a trusted depth forward in Edmonton, seventh on the team with 12 goals. Dependable, with better hands than you’d think, he’s approaching 500 NHL games played. “My life’s changed a lot since my university days,” said Ryan, the Oilers nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. “It’s nice to (be) back here.”

FLORIDA — PATRIC HORNQVIST: After winning the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Hornqvist really does not have anything to prove on the ice. But yet, there he is, each and every day, working out in yellow no-contact garb with the Panthers either in practice, morning skates or just to warm up the goalies. Hornqvist, 36, has been on long-term injured reserve after suffering his second concussion within a span of a month back in December. The Panthers say he will not play again this season, yet there the 15-year veteran is there every time the Panthers hit the ice. Florida coach Paul Maurice also credits Hornqvist for helping Anthony Duclair come back from Achilles tendon surgery as those two were workout partners in the months leading up to Duclair’s return. Just don’t call him ‘Coach Hornqvist.’ He’s not ready for that just yet.

LOS ANGELES — PHEONIX COPLEY: When Pheonix Copley was signed on July 13, 2022 by Los Angeles as a free agent, the move was thought to be a minor league goaltending depth add as Pheonix had only played two NHL games since the 2019-‘20 season. But with established starters Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen underachieving, the 31-year-old Copley was summoned to the big club and made his biggest save, that of the Kings season. He set a franchise record by becoming the fastest goaltender to reach the 20-win mark needing only 29 appearances and earned a one-year contract extension.

MINNESOTA — MASON SHAW: When Mason Shaw tore an ACL for the third time, his father, Aaron, flew to Des Moines to take his son home for good. Instead, Shaw stayed, began his third six-month rehab and this past fall had an exceptional training camp before being named Iowa Wild captain. Called up after two games, the 24-year-old Shaw never left. He became a fourth-line mainstay and penalty killer before suffering another season-ending knee injury on April 1 at Vegas. Shaw could have quit umpteen times. He could have been a minor leaguer forever. Instead, he worked exhaustively to become an NHLer. That’s why as devastated as teammates were for him in early April, they have no doubt he’ll be back.

MONTRÉAL — ALEX BELZILE: À 31 ans, Alex Belzile a marqué son premier but dans la LNH le 12 février dernier contre les Oilers d’Edmonton. Il en était à son 20e match avec le Canadien, réparti sur les trois dernières saisons. Depuis l’époque de l’expansion de 1967, il est le plus vieux joueur du Canadien à obtenir son premier but. Jamais, Belzile n’a abandonné son rêve d’atteindre la grande ligue. Il a franchi les étapes une à la fois, jouant 168 matchs dans la ECHL à Gwinnett en Georgie, à Anchorage en Alaska, à Boise en Idaho, à Fort Wayne en Indiana et à Loveland au Colorado. Il a aussi visité plusieurs villes de la Ligue américaine avec des arrêts à Hamilton, San Antonio et Laval pour un total de 319 rencontres. Capitaine du Rocket de Laval en début de saison, l’ailier symbolise la persévérance et le dévouement pour son sport.

Alex Belzile scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 12 against the Edmonton Oilers…at 31 years of age. It was his 20th game with the Canadiens spread over the past three seasons. Since the 1967 expansion, he is the oldest Canadiens player ever to score his first NHL goal. Belzile never gave up on his dream of reaching the NHL, getting there step by step. He played 168 games in the ECHL, from Gwinnett County, Georgia to Anchorage, Alaska to Fort Wayne, Indiana to Boise, Idaho to Loveland, Colorado. His stops over 319 games in the AHL included places like Hamilton, Ontario, San Antonio, Texas, and finally, Laval, Quebec. Named captain of the Laval Rocket at the beginning of this season, the winger personifies perseverance and dedication to hockey.

NASHVILLE — CODY GLASS: Despite just turning 24, Glass has faced his share of adversity in his young career, including injuries, inconsistencies that led to long stretches in the minors, and even being stuck in the U.S. during the height of Covid-19 unable to return home to his native Canada while rehabbing a torn ACL. Called into GM David Poile’s office prior to the team’s season-opening trip to Europe, Glass became emotional when told he would be accompanying the team. He’s remained at the NHL level all season, spending a significant amount of time centering Nashville’s top line.

NEW JERSEY — DOUGIE HAMILTON: Dougie Hamilton is a Canadian defenseman who plays for the New Jersey Devils. The Boston Bruins selected Hamilton with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft – and he’s grown into one of the league’s top defensemen since then. Hamilton, 29, has a career-high in points (71), goals (20) and assists (51) this season, despite suffering a brutal jaw injury last January. Hamilton said he “still can’t feel” his jaw sometimes, but he’s persevered and has been a key part of the Devils’ turnaround season (New Jersey clinched its first playoff berth since 2017-18 on March 25).

NEW YORK (ISLANDERS) — ZACH PARISE: Zach Parise: At 38, Zach Parise is a 20-goal scorer for the 11th time in 18 NHL seasons and for the first time since 2019-20, making him and the late J.P. Parise the fourth father-son duo in NHL history with 20 goals for the same franchise. He’s played on the top line and is a regular on both special teams. His teammates rave about how supportive he is. In short, hockey is fun again for Parise after his on-ice role was reduced by the Wild and he was ultimately bought out of the final four seasons of a 13-year, $98 million deal.

NEW YORK (RANGERS) — JIMMY VESEY: A journeyman that competed for four different teams over three seasons, Jimmy Vesey returned to the first team he signed with as a coveted free agent out of Harvard, the Rangers, on a professional tryout. He parlayed it into a one-year contract, and then a two-year extension through 2024-25 after it became clear that he was an invaluable addition to the lineup. Vesey, who had to change his game over those tough three seasons to remain in the NHL, saw time on every single line this season. His current 24 points represent his highest production since his last season in New York in 2018-19. This season has been a full circle moment for Vesey, who seemingly always wanted to make it work on Broadway and now he actually has.

OTTAWA — DERICK BRASSARD: Derick Brassard arrived at training camp on a PTO and was considered a long shot to crack the Senators’ roster. But the 35-year-old earned a contract just prior to the start of the regular season and has carved out a full-time role with the Senators in 2022-23. At Madison Square Garden in March, Brassard suited up for his 1,000th career NHL game and embraced the moment by scoring two goals to help propel the Senators to a victory.

PHILADELPHIA — NICK SEELER: The 29-year-old defenseman is a study in perseverance. In 2020-21, he stepped away from hockey for a season because he needed a “mental and physical break.” A journeyman most of his career, he wasn’t expected to be a regular this season. But he has become one of the Flyers’ best defensemen. He has set a career-high in goals and points, is second on the Flyers in hits, and is second among their D-men with a plus-2 rating. In addition, he is among the NHL leaders in blocked shots. Seeler is the ultimate team player. He is someone who always hustles, always plays with physicality, and drops his gloves to protect a teammate. For someone who left the sport for a year, he has revived his career and made his mark.

PITTSBURGH — KRIS LETANG: The Penguins’ nominee for a fourth time, Letang’s 17-year career has been one setback after another. His best friend, Luc Bourdon, died in a motorcycle accident during Letang’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final (2008). Letang, a lifetime sufferer of debilitating migraine, had a stroke (2015) that led to the diagnosis of a small hole in his heart. He and his wife lost a child to a miscarriage (2016). A neck injury forced him to miss the Penguins’ Cup run (2017). He also has missed games on three occasions because of a concussion. But even with all of that, this season has been especially trying for Letang. He missed time because of a second stroke and the death of his father. Still, Letang remains the Penguins’ best defenseman — leading that position in goals, points, and minutes — while also serving as a mentor to Pierre-Olivier Joseph, a fellow French Canadian who lives with Letang’s family in Pittsburgh. Always a deserving nominee, Letang would be a worthy winner of the Masterton Trophy.

SAN JOSE — NIKOLAI KNYZHOV: Knyzhov was the Sharks’ rookie of the year in 2020-21. That season ended with sports hernia surgery, which set off a nearly two-year odyssey to get back to game action. The first surgery led to four total procedures, infection, and missing all of 2021-22. Then, in the run up to this season, Knyzhov suffered a torn Achilles tendon. He earned consistent praise for his attitude and work ethic during the rehab process. Knyzhov returned to play in the AHL on Jan. 25 – 623 days after his last game with the Sharks, and to the NHL on March 6.

SEATTLE — BRANDON TANEV: Rugged Kraken winger Brandon Tanev overcame a torn ACL that ended his 2021-22 season midway through and has rallied to form part of arguably the NHL’s best fourth line for his playoff-bound squad. Admired by teammates for his locker room sense of humor and gritty on- ice leadership, Tanev has also taken a primary role in helping the Kraken form lasting bonds within the Seattle community. He was the first Kraken player last season to volunteer to make community visits. This season, he’s continued that in hospitals and schools – his ghost-like facial expressions becoming a huge hit with children.

ST. LOUIS — SAMMY BLAIS: Sammy Blais, 26, endured long odds of making it to the NHL as a sixth-round draft pick of the Blues in 2014. Not only did the winger find his way into the league, but he was a productive member of St. Louis’ Stanley Cup-winning club in 2019. In 2021, Blais was traded to the New York Rangers in a high-profile trade involving Pavel Buchnevich, but he played in just 14 games before suffering a torn ACL and missing the remainder of the 2021-22 season. Blais returned to the Rangers’ roster in 2022 but was subsequently dealt back to the Blues in another high-profile trade involving Vladimir Tarasenko in 2023. After scoring zero goals with the Rangers in 54 games, Blais eclipsed his career point total in St. Louis.

TAMPA BAY — PIERRE-EDOUARD BELLEMARE: In a Lightning locker room full of stars, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare carves out his leadership niche with his constant positive attitude and passion for the game. This season, he played his 608th NHL game, setting the record for most played by a French national. He’s played with a heavy heart. In October, he found out that cancer had returned for his mother, Frederique. He left the team briefly around Thanksgiving to return to France to essentially say goodbye to his mother. Days after his mother died in late January, Bellemare gave an inspirational speech to his team and in his second game back, scored a goal in the Lightning’s win over the Kings and pointed to the sky.

TORONTO — MARK GIORDANO: The oldest Maple Leaf at age 39, Giordano broke the modern-day NHL record for most career shot blocks in February with his 2,045th. While the stat has only been kept regularly by the league since 2005-06, it remains a remarkable achievement, given how hard pucks are fired today and the heightened risk of injury. As of early April, he is also ranked in the top 30 for blocks by an NHL defenceman this season. Giordano has proved indispensable for the Leafs in many other ways, as a mentor to the youngest players and the club’s last defenceman to take a game off in the 2022-23 regular season, consistently ignoring team suggestions to skip morning skates. In his first full season in Toronto, he has averaged 18:57 of ice time. In the summer of 2022, Giordano signed a two-year contract at a near minimum salary to try and help the team’s tight salary cap situation and be part of his hometown’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup final since 1967.

VANCOUVER — BROCK BOESER: The Canucks winger is in his sixth NHL season and none have been easy. He lost his father to dementia and cancer last season, an exceptionally painful loss for him and his family. This season he suffered a wrist injury in pre-season, came back, had his surgical wound re-open, putting him back on the shelf for a time, then was nearly a healthy scratch on Hockey Fights Cancer night. But since Christmas, he’s improved his game and has become the no. 1 choice on J.T. Miller’s right wing. He’s now three points shy of tying a career-high while proving to be a solid two-way winger.

VEGAS — PHIL KESSEL: Kessel’s perseverance and dedication to ice hockey are unquestionable with his 1,060 (and counting) consecutive games played as proof. Kessel has played through bumps, bruises, and worse to be there for his team night in and night out for more than 13 years. The Ironman streak alone is worthy of the nomination, and his love for the game helped cement it. He’s one of the most popular players in every dressing room he enters, and his smile on the ice every day at practice is contagious.

WASHINGTON — JOHN CARLSON: The same night he assisted on Alex Ovechkin’s 801st goal and minutes before No. 802, John Carlson took a slap shot to the head from former teammate Brenden Dillon. Carlson went to the hospital. The damage was a fractured skull and a severed temporal artery. Even with the Capitals realistically out of the playoff chase, Carlson returned exactly three months later to show he could still play hockey in light of the injury.

WINNIPEG — SAM GAGNER: It hasn’t been an easy road for Sam Gagner, whose path to 1,000 NHL games included several unplanned stops in the minors during the past several seasons. But those three demotions to the American Hockey League didn’t diminish Gagner’s love for hockey, it simply provided some additional motivation and perspective. The sixth overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft was signed by the Jets in early September to provide some versatility and flexibility. That’s exactly what he was able to do, playing a variety of roles before his season came to a premature end after he underwent hip surgery.

Flyers, Wild win 2022 Dillman Award

The Professional Hockey Writers Association is pleased to announce the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild are 2022 winners of the Dick Dillman Award, presented annually to honor the work of outstanding NHL public relations staffs.

Traditionally, the award recognizes the excellence of one winner in each the Eastern and Western conferences. As the sports world attempted to return to a sense of normalcy while still enduring the unusual circumstances presented by the global pandemic, the selection committee once again took in great consideration all that was involved.

The Wild (Western Conference) were the committee’s choice for a third consecutive season, while 2022 marks the first Flyers win since 2018. This year marks the fourth time both the Wild and Flyers have been honored.

“We’re once again pleased to recognize members of communication staffs and recognize them for what they do best, including building relationships between members of the media and teams, so that we can write stories effectively while efficiently report on oft-times difficult situations outside of daily activity,” PHWA president Frank Seravalli said. “These two staffs stood out among their peers, with Minnesota continuing to set a standard that made it an easy choice for a third straight season. We commend both the Wild and Flyers for a job well done.

In Minnesota, the communications department is led by Aaron Sickman, director of media relations, along with media relations specialist Megan Kogut.

“We are incredibly honored and grateful to be named a recipient of the Dick Dillman Award,” Sickman said. “We want to recognize and thank everyone in our organization, including Bill Guerin, our coaches and players for their willingness to share their stories with the media and our fans. We are also very thankful for the great coverage the Wild received this past year from our writers and broadcasters.”

The Philadelphia Flyers’ PR staff is headed by Zack Hill, senior director of communications, under the direction of vice president of communications Sean Coit. The director of public relations is Joe Siville and Brian Smith is the manager of broadcasting and media services. Allie Samuelsson is the game operations coordinator, Meghan Flanagan is director of corporate communications, and Kate Kizitaff is the communications coordinator.

The Professional Hockey Writers Association wishes to congratulate Hill for 29 years of meritorious service to hockey media and offer best wishes in retirement. Under Hill, the Flyers have been named a finalist for the Dillman Award an incredible 12 times.

“We are honored, thrilled and humbled to win the Dillman Award,” said Hill.. “Our goal has always been and will continue to be to help the media in any way we can. We strive to be as accommodating as possible in aiding both the local and national media in their coverage of the team.”

The Dillman Award is presented in honor of the late, great Minnesota North Stars public relations guru Dick Dillman. The Dillman committee is chaired by Dillman’s daughter, Lisa Dillman, and features a voting panel of senior PHWA members.

Previous Dillman Award winners:

2020-21: Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins
2019-20: Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild
2018-19: Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames
2017-18: Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars
2016-17: Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota Wild
2015-16: Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames
2014-15 Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars
2013-14 Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks
2012-13: Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks
2011-12: Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators
2010-11: Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks
2009-10: Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks
2008-09: Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks
2007-08: Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks
2006-07: Washington Capitals, San Jose Sharks