Alex Stalock Named A Finalist For The Masterton Trophy
On Tuesday evening, the NHL announced the three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is annually awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submit members for each club, and this year’s Blackhawks representative was Alex Stalock.
Stalock is one of the three finalists, with Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang and Arizona forward Clayton Keller.
This is from the NHL’s release:
Stalock signed as a free agent with the Blackhawks in July 2022, determined to regain an NHL roster spot. The 35-year-old, 11-year NHL veteran had appeared in one League game over the prior two seasons, having been diagnosed with myocarditis after testing positive for COVID-19 in 2019-20. Stalock quickly won over teammates with his off-ice presence and on-ice performance while battling through setbacks ranging from concussions to oculomotor dysfunction, a vision problem that affects the central nervous system. He finished the season at 9-15-2 with a 3.01 GAA in 27 games. “The last couple of years have been tough with what I’ve gone through,” Stalock told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Honestly, going through it, were there points where I had doubts in my mind that I would ever play again? Yeah. But at the same time, it’s the way I’m wired that I wouldn’t let that be the end of it.”
As a member of the Chicago chapter of the PHWA, I can say Stalock was a tremendous person to be around in the room and before/after games. What he worked through to come back this season is remarkable, and having to come back from concussion symptoms was another tough setback. He’s an incredibly worthy finalist.