The Bill Masterton Trophy is given annually to the player who “demonstrates perseverance and dedication to hockey.” It’s a de facto comeback player of the year award, although with heavy overtones of Lifetime Original Movie melodrama.
Ilya Bryzgalov won’t win that award, and not just because a Minnesota Wild goalie won it last season (and could win it again). Also, not because he’s Russian, despite, well, let’s just say the award winners aren’t exactly the most geographically diverse lot.
It’s because Bryzgalov’s “comeback” is more about circumstances than anything.
He was handed a massive contract by the Philadelphia Flyers, signed that contract, cashed the check and then realized what a titanically dumb idea it was for all parties involved when the thing imploded. (Although were it not for that signing, he would have never become a reality TV star; and if he never became a reality TV star, our curiosity about the vastness of the universe would have never been stoked, and henceRead More »from In praise of Ilya Bryzgalov, Wild playoff goalie and reformed flake