Anaheim Ducks forward, Patrick Eaves, has been selected as a nominee for the 2018-19 Bill Masterson Trophy.
Since he broke into the NHL, Patrick Eaves has traveled a difficult road; especially during the past few seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. Concussions, broken bones, muscle spasms, and most recently, a post viral syndrome, to name a few, have plagued him over the course of a 14 season career. However, despite all of the injuries he has sustained over the past decade, Eaves has been an incredible example of tenacity.
It was recently announced by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) that Eaves has been nominated as a contender for the Bill Masterson Trophy. The Masterson trophy is awarded, at the end of every season, to one player who has exemplified perseverance, sportsmanship, and the utmost dedication to the sport of hockey. Players like Brian Boyle, Joe Thornton, and Steven Stamkos will join him on the ballot.
Why Patrick Eaves Deserves to Win the Bill Masterson Trophy
There are many players who have been nominated alongside Eaves that deserve to win the Bill Masterson Trophy. Brian Boyle, of the New Jersey Devils, entered the 2018-19 season with the wonderful news that his cancer was in remission. He has exemplified tremendous bravery over the past few years. Jakob Chychrun, of the Arizona Coyotes, returned three months early after undergoing knee surgery in the offseason.
Veterans like Joe Thornton and Steven Stamkos have proved year after year how dedicated they are to the sport of hockey, and have been a huge example to younger and older NHL players alike. If it were possible to give all of them an award, I’m sure the NHL would do it. However, only one player can stand above the rest.
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Patrick Eaves’ story is a little more difficult than the rest of the nominees and he may not have the strongest case to win. Over the past two seasons, he has only appeared in a total of 9 NHL games. Many may come to the conclusion that his appearance in only 9 games is not enough to win him the trophy. However, the incredible story of Patrick Eaves does not deserve to be overlooked.
Last season, after playing only 2 games with the Anaheim Ducks, Eaves was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a life-altering disease. Guillain-Barre Syndrome is rare, but it has serious repercussions. Essentially, your bodies immune system attacks and destroys your nerve cells. This can cause weakness, paralysis, and difficulty breathing.
Fortunately, two months after his initial diagnosis, it was determined that he was actually suffering from a post viral syndrome. While it was good news, Eaves had a lot of work to do if he wanted to get back onto the ice. A shoulder injury he had sustained prior to the diagnosis needed to be taken care of too.
Finally, after spending a few games on the sidelines, Patrick Eaves returned to the Anaheim Ducks lineup or the 2018-19 season. It was a moment many had hoped for but didn’t know would happen. However, it wasn’t long before Eaves was back on IR. His shoulder, a broken rib, back spasms, and the flu, of all things, only allowed him to play 7 NHL games before he was placed on waivers and eventually assigned to the San Diego Gulls.
While it may seem illogical for a player who is currently in the AHL to be nominated for the Bill Masterson Trophy, when Patrick Eaves is knocked down, he always gets back up. He is an example to his teammates whether it’s in the locker room, on the ice, in the NHL, or the AHL. When assigned to San Diego, he used his “demotion” as an opportunity to teach and come alongside younger players. He didn’t grumble and complain, instead, he remained humble and kept on playing the sport he loved, no matter what league he was playing for.
Unfortunately, Eaves has been sidelined yet again after the symptoms from his post viral syndrome have returned. There is no news on when or if he will return this season or again. While it may be time for him to hang up his skates, he will always be known for his strength and determination. He is an incredible inspiration to many people that when life knocks you down, you can always find the strength to get back on your feet again.
Who do you think should win the Bill Masterson Trophy this season? Does Patrick Eaves have a chance? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment for us down below in the comment section.