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Blackhawks’ Alex Stalock named 2023 Masterton Trophy finalist

Hawks’ Alex Stalock named 2023 Masterton Trophy finalist originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock has been named a finalist for the 2023 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is annually awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, as voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Going into the season, Stalock had played in only one NHL game in three years after being diagnosed with myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart muscle — in November of 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19. His playing career appeared to be over but he wasn't ready to shut the door quite yet.

Stalock said he met with at least five different cardiologists, then discussed with his family, agent, main cardiologist in Minnesota and his electro-physician to discuss the next steps and whether he could continue playing hockey. After he got the clearance, Stalock signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Blackhawks in an effort to revitalize his career.

When healthy, Stalock was one of the better goaltenders in the NHL this season, even though his record might not reflect it. He went 9-15-2 with a 3.01 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and two shutouts in 27 appearances.

Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes and Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins were the other finalists, respectively. Keller appeared in all 82 games this season and set a career-high in goals (37), assists (49) and points (86) after suffering a fractured femur on March 30, 2022. Letang suffered a stroke — the second of his lifetime — earlier in the season but returned weeks later and finished the campaign with 41 points (12 goals, 29 assists) in 64 games.

The 2023 NHL Awards will be held at Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26 and televised on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Only two Blackhawks have won the Masterton Trophy: Pit Martin (1969-70) and Bryan Berard (2003-04).

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