The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which honors the late Minnesota North Stars player who died in 1968, is handed out annually to “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Emery’s career was temporarily derailed by a torn muscle in his abdomen, followed by the discovery he had avascular necrosis, a serious hip problem that led to the end of two-sport star Bo Jackson’s career in the 1990s. Emery had successful hip surgery last April and eventually signed as a free agent with the Ducks.
Called up late in the season due to vertigo issues suffered by normal starter Jonas Hiller he went 7-2-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage to help Anaheim clinch the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Emery also started the final five games of the Ducks’ first-round series against the Predators.
Langkow also spent much of the 2010-11 season working his way back from a serious injury that at one point was thought to possibly be career-ending. He was struck by a slap shot from then-teammate Ian White during a game between the Flames and Wild on March 21, 2010, and suffered a fractured vertebra that ended his season and threatened his future in hockey. Langkow was eventually cleared for full-contact practice just over a year after suffering the injury, and he returned to the Calgary lineup on April 1, 2011 and played in the team’s final four games.
Laperriere suffered numerous facial injuries and a contusion to his brain in blocking a shot by then-Devils defenseman Paul Martin during a first-round playoff game last April, yet returned to the lineup a month later to be part of the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Laperriere still has nerve damage to his eye suffered as a result of the shot block and hasn’t played for Philadelphia this season, but he remains a constant presence around the team’s training facility, running drills for injured and extra players. Laperriere has also helped the Flyers in the areas of television, community relations, scouting and player development.
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