Former Oiler Raffi Torres is the Columbus Blue Jackets’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
It’s also known as “that award the league gives out to Jason Blake because he plays for Toronto rather than to Fernando Pisani despite the fact that Pisani’s hair follicles have more heart than the combined heart of Jason Blake even if Jason Blake were cloned into an army of pale, whiny Jason Blakes.” Admittedly, the trophy’s only described that way on the wall of Wanye’s current cardboard residence, but the point stands. After all, Bobby Clarke won the thing so I don’t think that “sportsmanship” enters into it.
Torres has had a nice bounce-back year once he returned from injury; his pre-injury numbers were very bad but he’s salvaged that somewhat with 12 goals on the year so far. Meanwhile, Gilbert Brule has 13 goals in the AHL, so there’s no doubt as to which team has benefited more on the ice from this summer’s trade. I’ve always maintained that Torres was under-appreciated here in Edmonton; he was frightfully inconsistent, but even when he wasn’t scoring he wasn’t bleeding chances against and nobody can tell me that his physical game hasn’t been missed this season.
I very much doubt that he wins the award.
As for the Oilers, I’m not sure who is going to get the nod from the media writers in this town, but my guess would be that after seven seasons in seven different leagues and an ugly injury this year, Steve MacIntyre will be nominated for the award.