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Jagr, Malhotra, Moore named Masterton finalists

Apr 30, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

Jaromir Jagr Getty Images

New Jersey’s Jaromir Jagr, New York’s Dominic Moore and Carolina’s Manny Malhotra have been named the three finalists for the 2014 Masterton Trophy, the NHL announced on Wednesday.

From the league:

Jaromir Jagr, New Jersey Devils

Jagr’s unwavering dedication to the game has allowed him to continue playing at high level when most players his age are retired. The Devils named the 42-year-old right wing team MVP in 2013-14 after he led the club in assists (43), points (67), plus-minus (+16), game-winning goals (six) and shots (231). Admired throughout the League for his rigorous training regimen, Jagr credits working hard in practices to avoiding fatigue, allowing him to stay fresh and maintain an advantage over opponents late in games.

Manny Malhotra, Carolina Hurricanes

Malhotra, 33, was the Vancouver Canucks’ Masterton nominee in 2011-12 after returning from a serious eye injury suffered the season before. Refusing to believe his NHL career was over last fall, Malhotra signed a professional tryout agreement with the Charlotte Checkers, Carolina’s American Hockey League affiliate, on Oct. 3 and signed as a free agent with the Hurricanes four weeks later. He appeared in 69 regular-season games, assumed a leadership role in serving as an alternate captain and ranked second among all NHL players in face-off percentage (59.4%).

Dominic Moore, New York Rangers

Moore, 33, returned to the NHL this season after taking a leave of absence from the League in the spring of 2012 in order to care for his wife, Katie, after she had been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. Katie passed away at the age of 32 in January of 2013. Moore thereafter established the Katie Moore Foundation (, dedicated to helping patients and families with rare cancers through research, advocacy and community. He resumed his career as an integral part of a Rangers team that earned 96 points and a second-place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

The award is given annually to “the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” Last year’s winner was Minnesota goalie Josh Harding, who returned to play with the Wild after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

  1. stroknows - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    If Dom Moore doesn’t win this award it’s a sham. It is impossible not to root for the man after what he’s been through.

    • stcrowe - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      I agree. What he went through has few comparisons. I suspect that Matt Stajan will get a nomination next year.

      In most years, I would support Malhotra. He is a great story. But he was nominated previously for the same injury.

      As for Jagr, his longevity is impressive, this isn’t a simple lifetime achievement award.

    • krebsy34 - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      Don’t really know why anyone would thumbs down your comment.

      • krebsy34 - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        talking about stroknows

  2. esracerx46 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Moore, Malhotra, Jagr. I honestly don’t know why Jagr is even a finalist. He’s old, great. I know the award is about perseverance, but everybody is fighting father time.

    • lowenni - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      Because he went from being a supporting cast member to returning to superstar form at the age of 42. That’s pretty awesome. Dominic Moore and Malholtra both have great stories as well, and I think Malholtra in particular is great after Vancouver told him he wouldn’t be able to play again or shouldn’t. But I think Jagr deserves a spot on this list with his resurgence to being a NHL great at such a late age. I would be fine with any 3 of these winning and they all deserve it.

    • shady5811 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      I agree. Jagr’s nomination goes against the meaning of the award. He’s merely old while playing at a high level. Selanne, Brodeur (even if not the best year), etc. are no different.

      A player who should’ve gotten real consideration (and probably the nomination) is Defenseman Willie Mitchell of the Los Angeles Kings. Didn’t play last year at all because of a knee injury, many people thought the situation would result in his retirement. Instead he played 76/82 games this season, with 12 points and +14, logging the 20:20 a game (4th on the team) for the Jennings trophy winnters. That’s perseverance.

  3. shaundre93 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Dominic Moore in a landslide.

  4. khar9 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Guy had a stroke and returned

    • stcrowe - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      That was pretty recent. I expect Letang will be nominated next year, along with Matt Stajan.

      • shady5811 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        and Rich Peverley if he can play again.

      • stcrowe - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        I forgot about Peverley. Definitely, if he returns.

      • killerpgh - Apr 30, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        The crazy thing about the award is you don’t have to return to playing to win the award. Doesn’t make sense to me but that’s the way it is. Ian Laperriere won the award in 2010-11. He didn’t play one game the entire season and getting injuries in the 09-10 playoffs.

  5. nj666 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Jagr was amazing this season. He was pretty much a coach who played with the team. He made players who played with him much better. But most people here cant get past the “well its only because he’s old” narrative.

    • stcrowe - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      It is not that his narrative is not compelling. It is just less compelling than the others.

      Looking at the history of this award, there were a number of winners in the first couple of decades who won based on length of career, or the fact that they inspired their teammates with veteran leadership. For the last couple of decades, it is almost always awarded to a “comeback” player. Guys who battle cancer, concussions, personal tragedy, etc. That is just how the vote goes these days.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      If Jagr retired at 40, took 2 years completely off from the game, and then returned to the game to lead any team in points … he’d win hands down short of someone who had a similar experience but was sidelined by disease/injury.

      Moore and Malhotra deserve it more.

  6. jkay1818 - Apr 30, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Is someone above really giving Jagr the nod because he is 42 and not only plays but coaches and mentors players on the ice? It’s awesome to be that good at his age, but, Moore’s wife died zapping her of her entire life. Moore took off to care for her, dealt with the loss of a spouse and started an entire foundation. That’s great and deserves applause from anyone, not just an athlete, and he came back as a sound role player.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 30, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Some homers can’t see through the blinders.

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