Just “Another” Trophy?
The NHL Awards are on NBCSN tonight at 8PM ET, as Sportsnet and Devils fans surely have their eyes on many awards tonight. The NHL Awards is an annual ceremony based on regular season performance. These awards include the Hart Trophy (League MVP) or (Jack Adams Award) for best head coach. Going into the show, fans are very much aware of the “Hall for Hart” campaign, but perhaps the most interesting player to consider is New Jersey’s nomination for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy— Brian Boyle. The Hart Trophy is obviously important, but you could make an argument that the Masterton Trophy is the most important out of all the regular season awards this year and that’s for fans in general (not just Devils fans).
The definition of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy from nhl.com is:
“an annual award under the trusteeship of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and is given to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey”
Brian Boyle went through alot this past season and many of us will never understand his experience. Boyle signed with New Jersey on July 1 last year, and was subsequently diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia— a treatable form of bone cancer. Boyle missed the beginning of the season, but became a solid contributor since making his Devils debut. His goal on Hockey Fights Cancer night was definitely one of the top highlights of the league this year. Then the All-Star Game comes around, where he was been chosen to represent the Devils in place of Taylor Hall who was recovering from an injury. Boyle almost didn’t even wind up going because he wanted to stay home since his son had a serious health issue that was thankfully treated.
A lot of people relate to how cruel, crippling, and unfair cancer can be from personal experiences, or seeing family and friends affected. I cheer for Boyle because he inspires me (as he should anyone who watches him play and knows his story). Boyle is a beacon of positivity that can be hard to find sometimes in the world we live in today. His inspiration reminds us to work hard and never take anything for granted. I normally only buy gear with player names on it from the Devils that made a major impression on the franchise. Boyle is an exception because of his impact on life and how we all should strive to persevere no matter what circumstances stand in our way. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is one of my favorite NHL awards because it personifies how hard work (sometimes even in the darkest of hours) will pay off in the end. Whether it’s coming back from a horrific injury, beating an unfair circumstance, or chasing a dream. These are all lessons people of all ages can learn.