The Ottawa Senators have nominated Jean-Gabriel Pageau for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. From the NHL, the award goes to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”
“They told me that I’d be out for pretty much the whole year. That was hard, mentally.”@JGPageau talks about being nominated by the Ottawa chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association for the 2018-19 Masterton Trophy. pic.twitter.com/Im5h15BO6n— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 28, 2019
The beginning of the season didn’t go quite as planned for Pageau, who tore his achilles on the first day of training camp. While the news went slightly under the radar with Erik Karlsson traded on the same day, the loss was felt on the Sens roster. The original timeline was that he’d miss the entire season, although through quick healing and strong determination, Pageau miraculously missed only 42 games — just over half the season.
The importance of his return to the team can’t be understated. Wearing the ‘A’ on his jersey, he has three goals and seven assists in 33 games, but is better known for his stellar penalty killing. Before his return on January 6th, the Senators’ PK was killing off 75.0% of penalties, 4th worst in the league. It has operated at 85.5% since Pageau’s re-appearance, for 4th best in the league.
Each team nominates a player for the Masterton Trophy, with the list being later reduced to three finalists. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.