Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price has been awarded the 2022 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, honouring a player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
Price rejoined the Canadiens for four games in mid-April, appearing in his 15th NHL season. The return came after Price missed the start of the season after voluntarily entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program and then worked to rehab an off-season knee surgery.
"There's obstacles in life that will always challenge you and I think having the ability to overcome those and keep things in perspective and keep moving forward is something that we should all be teaching our children and loved ones," said Price in a video that aired on Sportsnet prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Price won the award over fellow finalists Zdeno Chara, of the New York Islanders, and Kevin Hayes of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Chara, 45, became just the eighth player to skate in 24 NHL seasons when he appeared in 72 games with the Islanders this season. In February, he broke Chris Chelios' record for most games by a defenceman and at season's end he had appeared in 1,680 regular season games.
Hayes played the 2021-22 season with a heavy heart following the tragic passing of his brother, former NHL player Jimmy Hayes. Kevin Hayes also overcame a blood infection and three surgeries to skate in 48 games for the Flyers this season, scoring 10 goals and 31 points.
Each local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association nominates a player and the finalists and winner were then chosen by a vote.
Price praised Chara, Hayes and all the other nominees for their resilience, and thanked the Canadiens organization, its fans and his teammates before "most importantly" thanking his family without whom "this would have been a lot more difficult."
"I'm very grateful to have all these people in my life," he said.
The award is named after Bill Masteron, a former Minnesota North Stars player who died following an injury sustained in a game during the 1967-68 season.