The NHL annually hands out the Masterton trophy to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.”
The league is pretty much testing all of those qualities with the trophy they delivered to this year’s winner, goalie Robin Lehner.
Lehner, you see, had an extraordinary year for the New York Islanders after going public with his battles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder. He finished the season with a career-best 2.13 goals against average and a second-place finish in the Metropolitan Division. The award was very well-deserved.
There’s just one little problem with it ...
This shouldn’t be that hard. And yet.
Lehner seems to be taking the whole thing in stride. While a trophy is nice, nothing can take away from his brilliance last season — or the one-year, $5 million deal it netted him from the Chicago Blackhawks this offseason to serve as Corey Crawford’s backup.
The NHL is used to this kind of thing anyway. Plenty of the league’s iconic trophies have misspelled or completely crossed off names on them — including the Stanley Cup.
Still, do better, NHL. If not for the people who won the trophies you’re handing out, then at least for your engravings budget, which is surely running low at this point.
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