The Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association has nominated Kings center Vincent Lecavalier for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to the “player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
From our chapter’s news release:
Lecavalier, in the twilight of an outstanding career, had become a mere afterthought while with the Philadelphia Flyers. More often than not he was a healthy scratch, playing in only seven games to start this season and recording one assist. it seemed a sad way for a gallant player to go out.
Lecavalier, 35, is rewriting that ending in Los Angeles. Given a chance and regular ice time after being traded to the Kings in January, Lecavalier has become a valued locker-room leader for a team that figures to contend for the Stanley Cup. He has helped with his faceoff skills and his experience, setting a good example for younger players to follow. The classy center has eight goals, 15 points and a plus-4 defensive rating in his first 35 games with the Kings, but his contributions go beyond that. For his career, he has 419 goals and 947 points in 1,205 games.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter is a fan of Lecavalier and what he has done since the trade. “Two months ago, three months ago, they said he was done,” Sutter said a few days ago. “They just didn’t finish the sentence. He’s done well.”