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Brian Boyle, Roberto Luongo, Jordan Staal nominees for Masterton Trophy


NEW YORK — Forward Brian Boyle of the New Jersey Devils, goaltender Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers and forward Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes were named the finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy on Saturday.

The award is given to the NHL player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," .

Before Boyle set foot on the ice as a New Jersey Devil, he faced his biggest test. At the start of training camp the 33-year-old was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone marrow cancer. He worked his way back into the lineup by Nov. 1 and scored 10 goals over his first 25 games, including a memorable goal on the Devils' Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Prudential Center, a 3-2 win over Vancouver on Nov. 24.

Luongo, 39, overcame hand and groin injuries during the season and backstopped the Panthers' drive for an Eastern Conference Playoff berth. Sidelined by injury since early December, the franchise's all-time leader in wins, shutouts and appearances returned on Feb. 17 to help the Panthers defeat Calgary 6-3 and ignite a Florida rally in the East's Wild Card race. In a 13-game span, Luongo went 9-3-1 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.

In late February, Staal and his wife, Heather, announced their daughter, Hannah, was delivered stillborn due to a terminal birth defect previously diagnosed by doctors. Staal, who had assumed a bigger leadership role with the young Hurricanes by being named co-captain before the season, missed just three games following the tragedy.

The Canadian Press

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