Every year, each NHL team has a nominee for the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy. The trophy is awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The respective chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) for each team selects the nominees. This season, the Anaheim chapter of the PHWA nominated Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano for the Masterson.
Cogliano is enjoying a career season and his streak of career games played in a row continues. His points-per-game this season (0.48) is second best in his career and his goals-per-game (0.26) is the highest it has been in his career. His streak is now at 456 consecutive games, which is third best out of all current NHL players, behind Jay Bouwmeester (633) and Henrik Sedin (627). Oh, by the way, he has never missed a single game in his entire career. So, that streak started back in his rookie season with the Edmonton Oilers, until now.
As much as I would like to see Cogs win the Masterson, I do not think he stands much of a chance against Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding. It’s been a pretty big story around the NHL for over a year. Last fall, Harding was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Here is what WebMD.com has to say about MS:
“Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neuroimmunologic (both the nervous system and the immunological system are involved) disorder of the central nervous system involving the brain, spinal chord and optic nerves. By means of a mechanism not clearly understood, the protective fatty, insulating substance called myelin sheath that covers the nerve is destroyed. The inflammatory attacks that produce the characteristic scarring (plaques or patches) of the myelin sheath occur randomly, vary in intensity, and at multiple sites. The course of the disease may advance, relapse, remit, or stabilize. The randomness of the location of plaques or patches affects the nerve’s ability to transmit information (neurotransmission) and causes a wide range of neurological symptoms, which may vary from person to person.”
My favorite teacher from high school suffered from MS and it was tough to see him struggle with it at times. He was on a bunch of medication to help counteract his pain. Much like the common saying, “he had good days and bad days.” He once told us about how he knew that he would be in a wheel chair much earlier than he had ever thought. So, I know a little bit about how people have to deal with it. I must say that it is very impressive that Harding continues to play. So, I do hope that he wins and it certainly seems like he will. The winner will be announced during the 2013 NHL Awards Show after the Stanley Cup Finals.
Tags: Anaheim Ducks Andrew Cogliano Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy Edmonton Oilers Henrik Sedin Jay Bouwmeester Josh Harding Minnesota Wild Multiple Sclerosis NHL Phwa St. Louis Blues Vancouver Canucks