Langkow's dedication to game earns him trophy nom

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:46 PM ET

Daymond Langkow's return from a potentially career-ending neck injury has made the Flames centre a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

The other finalists announced Tuesday are Anaheim Ducks goalie Ray Emery and forward Ian Laperriere of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Langkow was out of action more than a year after being hit on the spine by a puck and suffering a fractured vertebra March 21, 2010, against the Minnesota Wild.

Langkow, who was attempting to return for the 2010 training camp, was twice forced by doctors to stop working out.

His third attempt was a success and he returned to action April 1 when he laced up for his 1,014th NHL game and recorded an assist and +2 rating in the Flames' 3-2 win at St. Louis.

Emery battled back from a career-threatening hip injury and played a major part in the Ducks' successful push for a playoff spot. Emery underwent a complicated bone-graft surgery last April to repair a deteriorated ball joint in his right hip, the result of a disease called avascular necrosis which interrupts blood flow to the area and causes cells to die. After months of rehabilitation he signed with Anaheim as a free agent on Feb. 7 and went 7-2-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 10 NHL regular-season appearances.

Laperriere sustained a severe injury during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he blocked a shot with his face against New Jersey and suffered a concussion and fractured orbital bone.

He returned a little more than a month later to finish the Flyers' playoff run that ended two games short of a championship. Laperriere attempted to return in training camp, but could not overcome his concussion-related symptoms and has been on the long-term injury list all season.

The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2011 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers’ Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey and who died January 15, 1968.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca


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