CHICAGO – Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Trophy given to the NHL player that "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey”, but didn’t end up taking home the award when it was announced on Friday afternoon.
The trophy instead understandably went to Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding, who is attempting to continue his NHL career while battling with the difficult physical effects of multiple sclerosis. McQuaid was nominated by the Boston writers as the Bruins representative after battling back to play this season after suffering from a series of blood clots during the NHL lockout, and then voted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) as one of the three finalists along with Harding and Sidney Crosby.
McQuaid had several serious surgeries to deal with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that was originally supposed to cause him to miss at least a portion of the season, but the Bruins defenseman managed to be ready for the start of training camp. He battled with several injuries during the regular season, but has been a constant member of the B’s defensemen corps during their playoff run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The 28-year-old Harding went 1-1-0 with a 3.24 goals-against average, a .863 save percentage and one shutout in five regular-season games with Minnesota this year, and 1-4 with a 2.94 GAA and a .911 SV% in five playoff starts for the Wild against the Blackhawks.
The award was presented by the PHWA to honor the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited those qualities. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury. A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
The last Bruins player to win the Masterton Trophy was Phil Kessel in 2007, who overcame testicular cancer during his rookie season in Boston.