Alfredsson named Masterton finalist

Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player best exemplifying dedication, perseverance and sportsmanship.

Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player best exemplifying dedication, perseverance and sportsmanship.

Alfredsson will be up against Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens for the honour, which will be announced at the NHL’s awards ceremony in Las Vegas on June 20.

Alfredsson, 39, was nominated by the Ottawa chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association due to his longevity in the game and his comeback from a difficult 2010-11 season, when he battled a nagging back injury which ultimately resulted in off-season surgery. In 2010-11, he scored only 14 goals and 17 assists and faced the possibility of retirement.

This season, however, he bounced back to score 27 goals and 59 assists and was pivotal in the Senators surprising run to a playoff spot. Alfredsson also took centre stage at the All-Star Game festivities in Ottawa, after being voted in as a starter by the fans.

After the Senators clinched their playoff berth, Senators coach Paul MacLean said it wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of Alfredsson.

Alfredsson, who suffered an uncharacteristic meltdown during Monday’s 3-2 Game 6 loss to the New York Rangers – smashing his stick on the player’s bench, knocking down a water bottle and stomping on it — will need to channel his leadership abilities in order to lead the Senators past the Rangers in the series clinching Game 7 Thursday in New York.

It’s the second time Alfredsson has been nominated for a major NHL Award. The first came way back in 1996, when the captured the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, a shining light in a difficult season for the organization, which featured two general managers, three coaches.

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