You might have missed it, New York Islanders Zdeno Chara didn't win the NHL's Masterton Trophy. There are some big things going on in the NHL right now with conference final games on back-to-back nights so who won the Masterton may have slipped your attention. That was certainly the case for me.
Of course, the winner was Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price who came back to the game following an injury and then a battle with substance abuse.
New York Islanders Zdeno Chara finishes third in Masterton
Chara, who at 45 was still playing top-four minutes in the NHL, was the embodiment of perseverance and determination in the NHL. But as soon as we saw the list of nominees we knew that Chara's age wouldn't be enough to get him the award.
Don't get me wrong, it was a compelling story. Chara being able to play at the NHL level at his relatively advanced age was pretty impressive. Not to mention becoming the longest-serving defenseman in NHL history with 1,680 games played was a worthy narrative to get a number of votes from the PHWA who votes on the Masterton.
And votes Chara received. He finished third in voting with 242 points from 70 votes. He picked up a fitting 33 first-place votes (he wore 33 for the Bruins, Caps, and with the Isles this year), 20 second-place votes, and 17 third-place votes. Only Price and Hayes picked up more points.
Hayes, you might remember, lost his brother earlier in the 2021 offseason and dealt with his own injury issue.
But Price was clearly the deserving runaway favorite to win this award. And that's exactly what happened when the votes came in with the Habs goalie picking up 79 more point and 19 more first place votes than second-place finalist Hayes.
The top five voting went like so:
Price: 343pts (50-27-12)
Hayes: 264pts (31-29-22)
Chara: 242pts (33-20-17)
Getzlaf: 127pts (12-19-10)
Okposo: 101pts (12-11-8)