Congratulations to forward Matt Hendricks, who was named the Washington Capitals' Masterton Trophy nominee today. Per NHL.com, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is an annual award under the trusteeship of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and is given to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected in a poll of all chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season.
Hendricks, 29, was the Masterton nominee from the Colorado Avalanche last season. In his first season in Washington, his second full NHL season, he set career highs in assists (16) and points (25). He leads the Caps in many categories, including penalty minutes (110), fights (14), and hits by a player not named Ovechkin (168). He signed his first one-way NHL contract this season after a 4-year college career and over 300 games in 2 minor leagues, including a season with the Hershey Bears. We are pleased he'll be in Washington for two more years.
Katie from Rock the Red said it best in September, before Hendricks even made the team: "One thing I’ve always loved about Hendy is that he’s a tough and gritty center who will do anything for his team. Block a shot, head up a PK, quarter-back a PP, lay a hard hit, fight a goon that’s relentless to his teammates, score a clutch goal when the “scorers” aren’t – that’s what he does. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that that’s why he’s in DC right now."
Congratulations are also in order for former Capital Mike Grier, who was Buffalo's Masterton nominee, and former Hershey Bear Deryk Engelland, who was Pittsburgh's nominee and whom Katie profiled for Sports Haze Pittsburgh.