Price, Chara, Hayes finalists for Bill Masterton Trophy
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara, and Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes were announced as the 2021-22 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy finalists on Monday.
The award is given out annually to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey." It's voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Price missed the majority of the 2021-22 season after undergoing knee surgery in July, and his season debut was continuously delayed by injury setbacks. The 34-year-old also entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program in October and detailed his personal struggles with mental health and substance use.
He made his first start in April and ended a difficult year on a high by helping the Canadiens win their final game of the season against the Florida Panthers.
Chara became just the eighth player in league history to compete in his 24th season. The 45-year-old appeared in 72 games for the Islanders and averaged 18:44 of ice time per contest.
The veteran also made history by surpassing Chris Chelios for most games played by a defenseman (1,652). He extended that record to 1,680 by the end of the season.
Heading into the 2021-22 campaign, Hayes dedicated his performance to his brother, Jimmy, who died in August. When Kevin scored his first goal of the season in November, he pointed skyward as a tribute to Jimmy in a moment he said he'd never forget.
Hayes also dealt with a litany of injuries, including a blood infection, and had to undergo a series of surgeries. He was limited to just 48 games.
The winners of the 2022 NHL awards will be announced during the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final.