Johns, Lindblom and Ryan named finalists for Bill Masterton Trophy

July 16, 2020 - 1:31 pm
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The National Hockey League announced the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy on Thursday, which recognizes "the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey." This award is voted and awarded annually by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

This year's finalists are Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns, Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom and Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan.

Every year, one player from each team is named as a nominee for the Masterton Trophy by the local PHWA chapter. The trophy has often been awarded to a player who has overcome adversities such as a serious injury, an illness, a family crisis, and other factors.

Here is a list of players who were up to be finalists for the award in the 2019-20 season:

Back on March 29, 2018, Johns suffered a concussion in a game against the Minnesota Wild that led to a long road to recovery. He suffered from post-concussion syndrome and chronic headaches, which led to depression and suicidal thoughts, as he detailed in an interview with The Athletic back in June. Johns thought he would never return to the game of hockey after that.

However, nearly 22 months later, Johns was able to return to game action and appeared in 17 games in the 2019-20 season. He was able to score two goals and add three assists for five points in that time, while averaging 17:40 of total ice-time.

Johns has played in 167 games with the Stars, where he has scored 15 goals and registered 18 assists for 33 points. He was originally drafted in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 28-year-old was listed on Dallas' roster for the upcoming Return To Play plan this summer in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Stars will play in the Western Conference seeding round-robin tournament for the chance to earn the top-seed in the conference playoffs along with the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights.

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