Max Pacioretty is one of  the three finalists for the Masterton Trophy.  This year the award , signifies ‘comeback of the year’ because, Pacioretty, the Senators Daniel Alfredsson and Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul all returned from career-threatening injury or illness.

Not an easy choice.

Pacioretty’s run-in with that Bell Centre stanchion thanks to Zdeno Chara March 8th, 2011 led to a season ending fractured vertebrae and severe concussion.  He came back to score 35 goals and 65 points.  In the interim, as a result of the care given him at the hospital,  he helped set up  the Max Pacioretty Foundation to help raise money to buy a Functional MRI machine for the Traumatic Brain Injury Centre at Montreal General Hospital/McGill University Health Centre.

Alfredsson came back from back surgery to play in his sixteenth season.  He scored 27 goals, 59 points and was plus 16.  Off the ice he’s an advocate for mental health causes.

Lupul not only fought back from back problems but a career threatening blood disorder which caused him to lose an estimated forty pounds.  He came back with a 25 goal, 67 point season in Toronto. .

Who can argue with any of the choices?  A three-way tie might be a good result.