Calgary Flames blueliner Oliver Kylington named finalist for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
Back in early April, the Calgary chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association named defenceman Oliver Kylington the local nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. On Thursday, the National Hockey League announced that Kylington has been named a finalist for the award. Kylington, along with Carolina’s Freddie Andersen and Arizona’s Connor Ingram, have emerged as the top three vote recipients of the 32 players nominated league-wide.
Awarded since 1967-68, the Masterton Trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. It’s named in honour of Minnesota North Stars forward Bill Masterton, who passed away in January 1968 following injuries sustained in an NHL game.
Here’s the NHL’s rundown on Kylington’s candidacy from their press release:
Kylington returned to the Flames lineup in late January after more than a year and a half away from the team. While Kylington has preferred not to share all the details of his extended absence for mental-health reasons, the 2nd-round pick by Calgary in the 2015 NHL Draft revealed as he returned to action that he’d worried he may not be able to resume his promising career. Kylington, who continued to work with Flames’ support staff through his time away from the game, again became a fixture on Calgary’s blueline, skating an average of 17:15 in 33 games. His comeback has inspired and provided hope for many facing their own mental-health challenges. “Everyone’s journey is very individual. It’s very personal. You can take bits and bites of my story, and that can maybe help someone,” Kylington told the Calgary Herald. “But at the end of the day, as an individual, you have to do the work yourself and face your problems, your individual problems, and do that journey yourself.”
If it feels like we’ve written a ton about Kylington over the past while, it’s because we have. Right after his breakthrough onto the NHL roster, after years of pushing to become an everyday player, he stepped away to deal with his mental health challenges. Not only was he able to develop the tools he needed for his mental health, he was able to return to the NHL after 20 months away and be a high-end contributor. He’s a very deserving finalist for this honour.
Last season, the Masterton Trophy was awarded to Kris Letang. Two Flames players have received the honour previously: Lanny McDonald in 1982-83 and Gary Roberts in 1995-96.
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