Pavel Datsyuk named Detroit's Masterton Nominee
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 Masterton is unique among NHL awards in that every team gets one nominee for the overall award. Detroit's nominee is decided by the local chapter of professional hockey writers.
This year, they selected Pavel Datsyuk. Here's their writeup on him from the PHWA site:
The Detroit PHWA chapter nominates Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk. At age 36, Datsyuk remains hockey's best two-way forward and one of the most thrilling players to watch because of the way he can steal the puck off an opponent and dangle like no one else. He is the Wings' only point-per-game player (58 points after 57 games, with a team-best plus-11). As of March 20, he was the only player among the top 30 NHL scorers who was there having played fewer than 60 games. Datsyuk played a key role in helping the Wings win the Stanley Cup as a rookie in 2002, and a decade-plus later, his continued dominance demonstrates his passionate dedication.
Other potential nominees for the Wings included guys like Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary, Luke Glendening, or Drew Miller. Typically, the award goes to the player who overcame the most adversity to come back and play hockey well. You could make a letter-of-the-law argument for just about anybody on the Wings, but Datsyuk is the most easily-defensible of the choices. Even if I don't expect him to receive the Masterton Trophy, it's an honor in its own right for him to be nominated.