Blackhawks' Colin Blackwell nominated for 2024 Masterton Trophy: ‘That means a lot'

Blackhawks' Colin Blackwell nominated for 2024 Masterton Trophy: ‘That means a lot' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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Colin Blackwell has been named the Blackhawks' nominee for the 2024 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, annually awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, as voted upon by the Chicago chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Blackwell's recovery process from sports hernia surgery on March 22, 2023 has been well-documented. He broke down in tears when talking about it for the first time in October after he was finally cleared to skate.

Blackwell was expected to be out roughly 12 weeks but suffered setback after setback throughout the summer and didn't return to the lineup until 10 months later. When he finally did return on Dec. 19, Blackwell became a spark plug for the Blackhawks and has turned into a fixture on their shutdown line.

Blackwell fittingly recorded his first career NHL hat trick on March 10, almost a year removed from the surgery that made him wonder whether his playing career would be over.

"I saw that this morning," Blackwell said of the Masterton nomination. "I appreciate the people that have a vote, thank you very much, that means a lot. Obviously it's been a little bit of a rough stretch since I've come here — last year was a down here for me, and then some injuries that bled into this year.

"To get the recognition from you guys that have seen me since I've come in and seen some of the things I've been working on to get back and try to make an impact, that's definitely special to me and I appreciate that a lot. It goes to show some stuff maybe doesn't go unnoticed and I appreciate the support from you guys, so thank you very much."

Only two Blackhawks have won the Masterton Trophy: Pit Martin (1969-70) and Bryan Berard (2003-04). The 32 nominees will be narrowed to three finalists in a poll by the PHWA members, and the winner will be announced at a later date.

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