The Washington Capitals announced today that defenseman John Carlson has been named the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The award, which is given to the player who, “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey”, was created in 1968 in honor of Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who died in January 1968 after suffering an injury during a game. The award is voted on by Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and Carlson was nominated by the Washington area chapter.
#Caps John Carlson addressing the media after being named the Caps nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded for perseverance, dedication, and sportsmanship, as voted by the Washington chapter of the @ThePHWA. pic.twitter.com/lR3SupvpmC
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) April 10, 2023
Carlson returned to the lineup on March 23, three months to the day he suffered a skull fracture and severed temporal artery after taking a puck to the head during a game against the Winnipeg Jets. The severity of the injury was not revealed until his return was imminent.
“Personally, I think what I dealt with was difficult and all that, but I think there [were] a lot of other guys that, it seemed to be the story of the season, in terms of having to work through a lot of stuff…”, Carlson said after the team’s morning skate.
“…Maybe not so much in the rehab aspect of it…but it’s been a difficult time and glad to be on the other side of it.”
Only one player in the history of the Washington Capitals has received the award; goaltender Jose Theodore was awarded the Masterton Trophy in 2010 after the death of his two-month old son in August of 2009 and subsequent charitable work in the D.C. community aimed towards neonatal care at the hospital in which his son was treated. Theodore also recorded his best statistical season in over nine years during the 2009-10 season, winning 30 games for the Caps and helping the team to a Presidents’ Trophy win and then-franchise record in regular season wins.
The Caps have just three games remaining in their 2022-23 season, with a matchup against the New York Islanders tonight. Despite his shortened season, Carlson says that he is healthy as the offseason nears.
“I’m glad I’ve been going through this [game action] and kind of get it of the way, put it to bed, but no, there’s nothing wrong with me. Like I’ve said many times before, when I come back I’m in a different position to other guys, in terms of what they’ve put themselves through in the last few months of a grueling season, and you see that kind of now where guys are hurt. That’s just the way this time of year is…”
By Michael Fleetwood
To learn more about the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, click HERE
The sad part is .. there is a least one other “deserving” nominee for the Caps — Nick Backstrom who actually unexpectedly came back from his surgery and has already played more games than anyone else with that type of surgery.
That’s the type of year it’s been — a year of horrific injuries.
Thought about NB19 as well…
And Tom Wilson, too. Although his story is not as compelling as NB’s or JC’s.
Says it all, when you have a pool of good candidates for the Masterton
That’s for sure.
This is a weird award in some ways. I see Pen fans arguing Letang (Stroke) is a since to win and Caps countering with Carlson’s fractured skull 🙄
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I’m shocked that Evander Kane wasn’t nominated.
Foligno, Vesey, Giordano, are all solid picks too, but if I had a vote, it’d go to Copley. The road he’s taken to get to where he is now was one of the longest and most difficult in memory. He deserves the success he’s been enjoying.