SUNRISE, Fla. – The South Florida chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that Florida Panthers D Ed Jovanovski has been selected as the club’s 2014 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
After playing in only six games during the 2012-2013 season, Jovanovski underwent hip resurfacing surgery to eliminate pain in his hip, which at one point prevented him from lacing up his skates. After eight months of intense therapy and rehabilitation, the Panthers’ team captain returned to the ice on January 4, 2014. He is believed to be the only athlete in the four North American professional sports leagues to return to play after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery.
“My passion is for this great game and I always hoped to return,” said Jovanovski. “I cannot thank my doctors and our training staff enough for the countless hours that they spent working with me during my recovery. It is an honor to play in the National Hockey League and it has been an absolute pleasure to be able to return healthy and play the game I love.”
On January 21, Jovanovski played in his 1,100th career NHL game in Buffalo. On the same night, he became one of seven Panthers defensemen to record over 100 career points, after scoring a goal in the second period. He recorded his 500th career NHL point on Feb. 27 vs. Washington. The Windsor, ON native ranks third among franchise defensemen with 600 PIM, fifth with 357 games played and seventh with 102 points.
For his career in the NHL, the 17-year veteran has played in 1,123 games for Florida (1995-1999 & 2011-current), Vancouver (1999-2006) and Phoenix (2006-2011) scoring 137goals with 363 assists and 1,472 PIM. He is also a five-time NHL All-Star (2001, 2002, 2003, 2007 & 2008).
Jovanovski was drafted by Florida with the first overall pick in the 1994 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The Panthers re-signed Jovanovski to a four-year contract on July 1, 2011.
The Masterton Trophy winner is selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and a $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the winner.
The PHWA first presented the Masterton Trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died January 15, 1968 following an injury suffered in a game.
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