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Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Every year, each NHL team nominates one player for the Masterton Trophy, with a winner being selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The recipient is the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey. The award was initiated in 1968 to honor the memory of Bill Masterton.

Bill Masterton Trophy — History

Bill Masterton, born in Winnipeg in 1938, was a center for the Minnesota North Stars in 1967-68. In a home game against the Oakland Seals in January 1968, Masterton was carrying the puck at full speed, and was hit by two converging Seals. Knocked backward, Masterton (without a helmet) lost consciousness and landed on his head. He never woke up. About 30 hours later, he died from his head injuries, with his family at his side. Masterton was the first and only NHL player to die as a direct result of a game injury.

Bill Masterton Trophy — Trivia

  • No player has won the Bill Masterton award more than once.
  • Frequently, Bill Masterton Trophy winners have overcome physical challenges or illnesses. For example:
    • Bobbly Clarke, 1971-72 award recipient, suffered from diabetes and yet played 15 years in the NHL.
    • Charlie Simmer, 1985-86 award recipient, had suffered extreme ligament damage and yet scored 60 points that season.
    • Gord Kluzak, 1989-90 award recipient, continued to play after nine knee injuries (he retired after the tenth).
    • Mario Lemieux, 1992-93 award recipient, played in the league while battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, missed 24 games that season, and yet won the Art Ross Trophy, recording 160 points.
    • Jason Blake, 2007-08 award recipient, played in all 82 games despite being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia.

These Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winners, along with all the others, have stories of courage and persistence that have inspired hockey players, fans and many others.

Bill Masterton Trophy — Complete List of Winners

  • 2018: Brian Boyle , New Jersey Devils
  • 2017: Craig Anderson , Ottawa Senators
  • 2016: Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers
  • 2015: Devan Dubnyk , Minnesota Wild
  • 2014: Dominic Moore, New York Rangers
  • 2013: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild
  • 2012: Max Pacioretty , Montreal Canadiens
  • 2011: Ian Laperriere, Philadelphia Flyers
  • 2010: Jose Theodore, Washington Capitals
  • 2009: Steve Sullivan, Nashville Predators
  • 2008: Jason Blake, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 2007: Phil Kessel , Boston Bruins
  • 2006: Teemu Selanne, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  • 2004: Bryan Berard, Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2003: Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings
  • 2002: Saku Koivu, Montreal Canadiens
  • 2001: Adam Graves, New York Rangers
  • 2000: Ken Daneyko, New Jersey Devils
  • 1999: John Cullen, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 1998: Jamie McLennan, St. Louis Blues
  • 1997: Tony Granato, San Jose Sharks
  • 1996: Gary Roberts, Calgary Flames
  • 1995: Pat LaFontaine, Buffalo Sabres
  • 1994: Cam Neely, Boston Bruins
  • 1993: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1992: Mark Fitzpatrick, New York Islanders
  • 1991: Dave Taylor, Los Angeles Kings
  • 1990: Gord Kluzak, Boston Bruins
  • 1989: Tim Kerr, Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1988: Bob Bourne, Los Angeles Kings
  • 1987: Doug Jarvis, Hartford Whalers
  • 1986: Charlie Simmer, Boston Bruins
  • 1985: Anders Hedberg, New York Rangers
  • 1984: Brad Park, Detroit Red Wings
  • 1983: Lanny McDonald, Calgary Flames
  • 1982: Glenn Resch, Colorado Rockies
  • 1981: Blake Dunlop, St. Louis Blues
  • 1980: Al MacAdam, Minnesota North Stars
  • 1979: Serge Savard, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1978: Butch Goring, Los Angeles Kings
  • 1977: Ed Westfall, New York Islanders
  • 1976: Rod Gilbert, New York Rangers
  • 1975: Don Luce, Buffalo Sabres
  • 1974: Henri Richard, Montreal Canadiens
  • 1973: Lowell MacDonald, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 1972: Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers
  • 1971: Jean Ratelle, New York Rangers
  • 1970: Pit Martin, Chicago Blackhawks
  • 1969: Ted Hampson, Oakland Seals
  • 1968: Claude Provost, Montreal Canadiens