NHL Notebook: Edmonton Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse named King Clancy Trophy nominee, Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy finalists named, and more
Photo credit:Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing21 days ago
Darnell Nurse has been named the Edmonton Oilers’ nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
The award is annually handed out to the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on & off the ice while making a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
Nurse has been a longtime partner of Free Play for Kids, and this past year, he worked with restaurant brand Chopped Leaf to raise over $20,000 for the program.
Now in his ninth NHL season, Nurse has appeared in 559 games scoring 66 goals and 235 points.
Here’s a look at all the nominees:
The NHL announced the three finalists for the Bill Masterton trophy on Tuesday. The award has been handed out since 1968 and awarded to “the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
Named finalists were Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller, Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock. The award is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Here’s what each chapter wrote about the players:
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.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.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.
Leafs starting Woll
The Toronto Maple Leafs will be starting Joseph Woll in game four against the Florida Panthers on game four. This comes after Leafs starter Ilya Samsonov was injured In Sunday night’s game three.
Woll had appeared in seven regular season games this season posting a 6-1 record, a .932 save percentage and a 2.16 goals against average. He came into game three in relief for the Leafs in game three allowing three goals against while facing 21 shots (.857 sv%).
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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