After signing a big contract, it was hardly the season that the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos wanted.
Still, Stamkos is the Tampa Bay nominee for the Bill Masterson Trophy.
The Masterson Trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. One nominee from each team is selected by local chapters of the PHWA before the winner is selected in a poll of all chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season.
Stamkos, who underwent surgery on Nov. 17, 2017, to repair a partially torn meniscus in his right knee, suffered a third long-term injury in the span of four years that forced him to miss significant time. Through four months of hard work to while rehabilitation and physical therapy, the Lightning captain has shown dedication and perseverance to work his way back to full health once again from a potentially devastating injury.
“It’s an honor for (the PHWA) to recognize the hard work and dedication for a lot of the stuff that people don’t really see on an everyday basis,’’ Stamkos said on being nominated. “I know the (media) get a chance to see it more than others, but in looking at this group that we have in (Tampa Bay) and around the league to see the other guys who are nominated, to see the correlation between those guys and the work ethic they have, how they continue to be pros, it’s definitely an honor.’’
John Cullen is the only Lightning player to win the Masterton Trophy when he was voted the winner in 1999.