The NHL announced Thursday the three finalists for this season's Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player best exemplifying "the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey": Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, and Ottawa Senators netminder Andrew Hammond.
The Masterton Trophy, awarded since the 1967-68 campaign and voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, celebrates the life of the late former Minnesota North Stars player who died Jan. 15, 1968 at age 29 after suffering massive head injuries in a game two days earlier. And this year's nominees are all worthy of the honor: the 28-year-old Dubnyk's career had veered off course in Edmonton and Arizona before he was dealt to Minnesota and made an incredible comeback, finishing the season with a 2.07 goals-against average and .929 save percentage and being nominated as finalist for the Vezina Trophy; the 28-year-old Letang suffered a stroke in January 2014, but returned to the Pens this season and recorded career-bests in assists (43) and points (54) despite being sidelined 13 games by injury; and the 27-year-old, undrafted Hammond made his first NHL start on Feb. 18 and got off to a 14-0-1 record, then proceeded to help push Ottawa into the playoffs with his 20-1-2 mark, 1.79 G.A.A. and .941 SP.
If Dubnyk wins the Masterton, he'll be the second Wild goalie in three years to do so. Josh Harding won it in 2012-13, while New York Rangers center Dominic Moore won it last season.