The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association after each team nominates one player in competition. It is often awarded to a player who has come back from career- or even life-threatening illness or injury. A player can receive this trophy only once in his career.
This year's three finalists have literally incredible stories, so I'm going to go out of my way to make sure as many people know as possible what these human beings have had to endure. I won't even pretend to know what it's like to go a day through some of these guys' shoes:
Theodore created Saves for Kids, which benefits the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital where his son, who died last summer, spent his 54-day life.
Ortmeyer must inject a blood thinner into his stomach each day to combat a hereditary blood-clotting disorder. He had 19 points in 76 games.
Kurtis Foster, Defenseman for the Tampa Bay Lightning
Foster had career bests of 71 games, 34 assists and 42 points, after returning from a broken leg.
As with all trophies in the NHL, the Masterton will be awarded after the season at the NHL's awards ceremony. Information from the Associated Press (via Yahoo Sports) was used in this post.