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April 4, 2011 10:00 am

Mitchell nominated for Masterton Trophy

Willie Mitchell has been selected as the Kings’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The Masterton Trophy is annually awarded to a player who exhibits “qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey,” and is named for the late Bill Masterton, who died as a result of an on-ice injury while playing for the Minnesota North Stars in 1968. One nominee is selected per NHL team, and then a winner is selected through a vote by writers. In nominating Mitchell, the organization cited his comeback from a concussion that cost him half of last session, his strong on-ice play and leadership and his willingness and effectiveness in speaking out about concussion-related issues. Here’s what Mitchell said about his nomination…

MITCHELL: “It’s an honor. I know what it’s probably for, is the long road to get back to doing what I do. Everyone knows that it was eight, nine months out of the game of hockey. It’s not an easy thing to do. When you’re going throughout, you wonder if you’re going to get a chance to do it again. I’m just fortunate. I’m thankful that I’m in the situation I’m in now, where I get to play the game I love to play. I have my health. That’s No. 1, and I just appreciate the game so much more after going through all that. You don’t appreciate those things until it’s taken away in a hurry. I’m happy to be back and happy to be contributing to our team. It’s an honor.”

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