New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle, Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo and Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal have been named finalists for the Bill Masterton Trophy, the NHL announced Saturday.
The award is given to a player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone marrow cancer, in September. He was able to return in November and had 13 goals and 10 assists during the regular season. The 33-year-old was chosen to play in his first All-Star game earlier this year.
Luongo, 39, battled injuries for much of the season while compiling an 18-11 record with a 2.47 goals-against average. Following a mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, where Luongo lives, he delivered a pregame speech at the Panthers’ first game following the tragedy.
“We need to keep talking about this,” Luongo said. “I want the [high school students] to keep fighting. And I want everyone to pay attention. As we all know, it’s not front-page news anymore. People in the media have moved on to other stuff. But it’s important to keep it in the forefront. It’s always going to be there. We just need to keep the dialogue going.”
In February, Staal and his wife, Heather, announced their daughter was delivered stillborn. He missed three games following the tragedy. The 29-year-old co-captain went on to score 19 goals and had 29 assists.
The trophy is named in honor of former Minnesota North Stars player Bill Masterton, who in 1968 became the only player to die from injuries suffered during an NHL game.