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Nick Foligno, Robin Lehner and Joe Thornton selected as Masterton Trophy Finalists

04/19/2019, 9:30am CDT
By The PHWA

Columbus Blue Jackets left winger Nick Foligno, New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner and San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton have been named finalists for the 2019 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

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 announced Wednesday, June 19, during the 2019 NHL Awards show.

The finalists, in alphabetical order:

 

Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets

 

Foligno helped Columbus earn a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third consecutive year by scoring 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 73 games, while simultaneously attending to health issues affecting two of his three young children. The Blue Jackets captain, 31, is skating in his seventh season with Columbus and ranks third on the club's all-time goals (125) and assists (162) lists.

“I feel like we’ve become a stronger family and that’s how I’m always going to look at it. I think it’s made me a better person, a better player and a better leader, hopefully, for this team," Foligno told the Columbus Dispatch. "I’m going to take it all in stride, but my family is my most important thing in my life and (the Blue Jackets are) my second family."

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Robin Lehner, New York Islanders

 

Lehner (25-13-5 record, 2.13 goals against average, .930 save percentage, six shutouts) and teammate Thomas Greiss won the 2018-19 William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the team allowing the fewest regular-season goals, helping the Islanders post their highest regular-season points total (103) since 1983-84. His best NHL season on the ice came on the heels of revealing addiction and mental health issues in a self-penned article for The Athletic during training camp.

"I am not sharing this story to make people think differently of Robin Lehner as a professional goalie," Lehner wrote. "I want to help make a difference and help others the way I have been helped. I want people to know that there is hope in desperation, there is healing in facing an ugly past and there is no shame in involving others in your battle."

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Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks

 

Thornton, 39, overcame major injuries from the prior two seasons, suffering a torn ACL and MCL in both his left knee (2017) and right knee (2018). His rehabilitation work, detailed in the San Jose Mercury News, served as an inspiration to his teammates and coaches. The leader among active NHL players in career assists and points (413 goals, 1,065 assists, 1,478 points in 1,566 games), Thornton concluded his 21st NHL campaign with 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 73 games, helping the Sharks qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 14th time in the past 15 seasons.

Thornton scored his 400th career goal on Nov. 13 and passed a pair of NHL legends on April 4, leapfrogging Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564) into 12th place on the all-time games list and Steve Yzerman (1,063) into eighth place on the all-time assists list.

Bill Masterton Memorial Scholarship Fund

 

A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

Previous winners:

 

Year Player Team
2018 Brian Boyle New Jersey Devils
2017 Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators
2016 Jaromir Jagr Florida Panthers
2015 Devan Dubnyk Minnesota Wild
2014 Dominic Moore New York Rangers
2013 Josh Harding Minnesota Wild
2012 Max Pacioretty Montreal Canadiens
2011 Ian Laperriere Philadelphia Flyers
2010 Jose Theodore Washington Capitals
2009 Steve Sullivan Nashville Predators
2008 Jason Blake Toronto Maple Leafs
2007 Phil Kessel Boston Bruins
2006 Teemu Selanne Anaheim Ducks
2004 Bryan Berard Chicago Blackhawks
2003 Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings
2002 Saku Koivu Montreal Canadiens
2001 Adam Graves New York Rangers
2000 Ken Daneyko New Jersey Devils
1999 John Cullen Tampa Bay Lightning
1998 Jamie McLennan St. Louis Blues
1997 Tony Granato San Jose Sharks
1996 Gary Roberts Calgary Flames
1995 Pat LaFontaine Buffalo Sabres
1994 Cam Neely Boston Bruins
1993 Mario Lemieux Pittsburgh Penguins
1992 Mark Fitzpatrick New York Islanders
1991 Dave Taylor Los Angeles Kings
1990 Gord Kluzak Boston Bruins
1989 Tim Kerr Philadelphia Flyers
1988 Bob Bourne Los Angeles Kings
1987 Doug Jarvis Hartford Whalers
1986 Charlie Simmer Boston Bruins
1985 Anders Hedberg New York Rangers
1984 Brad Park Detroit Red Wings
1983 Lanny McDonald Calgary Flames
1982 Glenn Resch Colorado Rockies
1981 Blake Dunlop St. Louis Blues
1980 Al MacAdam Minnesota North Stars
1979 Serge Savard Montreal Canadiens
1978 Butch Goring Los Angeles Kings
1977 Ed Westfall New York Islanders
1976 Rod Gilbert New York Rangers
1975 Don Luce Buffalo Sabres
1974 Henri Richard Montreal Canadiens
1973 Lowell MacDonald Pittsburgh Penguins
1972 Bobby Clarke Philadelphia Flyers
1971 Jean Ratelle New York Rangers
1970 Pit Martin Chicago Black Hawks
1969 Ted Hampson Oakland Seals
1968 Claude Provost Montreal Canadiens

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