David+Desharnais+9yjD-AzS1zImFans and some of those who vote on the NHL’s Masterton Trophy award tend to treat it as some kind of “unsung hero” or “comeback of the year” award but the intent of the award goes much deeper.

The key words are “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey”. Under those terms, there’s no question David Desharnais, the Canadiens 2014 nominee is a perfect fit  especially in the ‘perseverance and dedication’ departments.

His story is well known in Montreal: top scorer in j,unior; ignored in the draft because of his size; tried out with the Canadiens; could only get a Hamilton contract and was quickly sent to the ECHL where he was rookie of the year, scoring champion and playoff MVP on a Kelly Cup winner; promoted to Hamilton and was top AHL scorer when promoted finally to the Canadiens.   They base movies on stories like this.

Canadiens have won the Masterton five times: Claude Provost (1968; Henri Richard (1973) Serge Savard (1979); Saku Koivu (2002) and Max Pacioretty (2012).

From Canadiens Communications –

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

MONTREAL – The Montreal chapter of the Professionnal Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced the selection of Montreal Canadiens’ forward David Desharnais as the team’s candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the 2013-14 season. Canadiens’ forward Max Pacioretty was the award recipient in 2011-12.

The 27-year old Desharnais is completing his fifth NHL season. Throughout the season, he was a true example of sportsmanship, perseverance and determination.

Signed as a free agent on November 5, 2008 the Laurier-Station, Quebec native has recorded 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists) and has a +8 differential in 74 games thus far this season. Desharnais leads the team forwards in assists and ranks third overall on the team for points.

The Canadiens’ centre, who began his professional career in the minors at the AHL and ECHL level, will now be in contention with the league’s 29 other nominees for this coveted award.

The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected by a poll among the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season. The trophy commemorates the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who lost his life following an NHL game on January 15, 1968.