We got the list of Masterton’s Trophy nominees and I’m torn about who I want to win. There are goon names on this list, plenty of players who have battled adversity this season and come back but there are 2 specifically that I’m rooting for.
First, Stephen Johns.
Stephen Johns, 28-year-old defenseman of the Dallas Stars, missed 22 months of hockey while battling post-concussion syndrome. For some time, Johns didn’t know if he’d ever play hockey again. He missed the entire 2018-2019 season and a good chunk of the 2019-2020 season. In early January, Johns made his return to pro hockey. In his first game back with Dallas’ AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, Johns put up 1 goal and 3 assists. Johns made his return to the NHL on January 18th. He played in 17 games with 5 points (2G 3A) before the break.
Then, there’s Bobby Ryan.
Bobby Ryan, 33-year-old winger for the Ottawa Senators, has had a hell of a life. Earlier this year, a video called “The Secret Life of Bobby Ryan” dropped and it told the story about Bobby Ryan’s upbringing which was insane. Watch it here before you continue this blog because what he went through was stuff from a movie. That video came out after this season where Ryan took time off to attend rehab. He’s been open about what it took to overcome alcoholism and what he did was heroic. It takes a lot to ask for help and he did that with the heated spotlight of the NHL media. Not to mention he came back and had a hatty his first night back!
So those are the two people I’m pulling for. There are a number of other inspiring stories on this list. You got Corey Crawford who also battled a few bad concussions, Connor McDavid and his career almost ending, Evgeni Malkin who got fucked by an injury after opening up this summer about his struggles. There are a lot of good, deep stories who deserve to win but these are my two that I want to take that trophy home.
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