Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier was nominated by the Los Angeles chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the 2013 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy on Monday.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to a player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” In recent years, players who have battled illness, significant injuries or hardships have accepted the award.
Though increasing the frequency of his starts this season due in part to a 9-2-1 record with a 1.86 goals against average and .922 save percentage, the 24-year-old selected 11th overall in 2006 has been relegated to mostly backup duty in his three full seasons with the club due Jonathan Quick’s emergence as the number one goaltender.
Bernier was the 2012 recipient of the Kings’ Community Service Award, having donated four lower-level tickets to patients from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and their families to every game last season. He also donated a set of goaltending gear to the winner of an essay contest and invited four applicants of the contest to a goaltending clinic.
In late March, Bernier spent time away from the Kings and missed the team’s visit to the White House due to the passing of his grandmother, Georgette St-Gelais. He has appeared in three games since then, going 2-0-1 with a shutout of the Minnesota Wild at Staples Center on April 4.
Bernier will become a restricted free agent on July 1.
The winner of the Masterton Trophy is selected in a poll of all PWHA chapters at the conclusion of the regular season. Three Los Angeles Kings have won the award: Butch Goring (1978), Bob Bourne (1988) and Dave Taylor (1991). Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens, who returned from a fractured vertebrae and a concussion to post 65 points, was the 2011-12 winner.