Craig Anderson gives emotional speech after being awarded Masterton Trophy (Video)

“Stay in the moment … Live for the now.”

Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators was awarded the 2016-17 Bill Masterton Trophy after a season that saw him leave the team twice to be with his wife Nicholle as she battled cancer.

The award, which is given to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey,” comes with a $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund in Anderson’s name.

From the NHL:

Anderson recorded a successful season for the Senators while supporting his wife, Nicholle, in her fight against a rare form of throat cancer. After leaving the Senators in October to be with Nicholle, Anderson returned to the club at her urging on Oct. 29 when the Senators lost goaltender Andrew Hammond to a groin injury. He left the team in early December to be at Nicholle’s side while she underwent treatment and came back after the All-Star break. Anderson backstopped the Senators to a Stanley Cup Playoff berth by winning 25 of his 40 starts, surpassed the 500 career game milestone and, on March 11, became the Senators’ all-time wins leader (147).

Nicholle Anderson was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma in November. Last month, she announced on her blog that scans showed she was cancer-free. In an interview with the Ottawa Sun, Nicholle said that she may have to deal with side effects from his treatment in the future and that it may be a year before she’s fully healthy again.

But she’s cancer-free now, and that’s the best part.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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