Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Alex Stalock Nominated For Masterton Trophy After Inspiring Season


A season like the one that the 2022-23 Chicago Blackhawks are having isn’t expected to fill any trophy cases. One Blackhawk, however, has the opportunity to take home some hardware.

It was announced Monday that Hawks goaltender Alex Stalock is the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is given annually to the NHL player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.” He was nominated by Chicago chapter members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Stalock, 35, displayed all of those qualities exceptionally. He not only dealt with more than his fair share of health-related obstacles, but he also was a great leader and teammate. Entering the season, he had played in only one NHL game and 17 AHL games over the course of the previous two seasons combined due to an ongoing battle with myocarditis, a condition that affects the heart, which he suffered when recovering from COVID-19 in 2020. He couldn’t risk exercise at all for a while due to the increased possibility of cardiac arrest.

Return To The Ice

Despite his playing career appearing to be over, he didn’t close the door altogether. Stalock proceeded to meet with five different cardiologists, then discussed the next steps with his electro-physician and main cardiologist as well as his agent and his family. After he finally got clearance, he signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Blackhawks last summer.

Stalock has dealt with concussion issues throughout the season, but when he’s been healthy, he has been one of the better goaltenders in the NHL. He has 25 appearances this year with the Blackhawks, registering a .912 save percentage with two shutouts.

“The last couple years have been tough with what I’ve gone through. But the ultimate goal was to get back and to prove to myself I could do it. This year was a way to do that.”

– Alex Stalock

In addition to being a bright spot on the ice for a floundering Blackhawks team, Stalock has also been a great addition to the locker room. He’s supportive of his teammates and brings a lighthearted attitude to a team that needs to improve morale in any way it can. Teammate Connor Murphy said of his locker room presence:

“It’s been a frustrating, hard year — mentally and emotionally — and when you have a guy like that that can be really upbeat and positive and have the work ethic he brings, it’s contagious to the team.”

– Connor Murphy

Potential Finalist?

With the journey Stalock has had to take to get back on the ice as well as his high level of play and great locker-room presence, it should be a no-brainer to vote for him at least as a finalist. Either way, the news gives Blackhawks fans something to root for besides just the draft lottery as they watch playoff hockey over the next few months.

The field of 31 nominees will be narrowed down to three players by the PHWA during the NHL playoffs, and the winner will then likely be announced during the conference finals, with the date yet to be announced.


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Phillida Antonie
Phillida Antonie
Apr 10, 2023 1:56 pm


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