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NHL Awards 2012: Defending Big D's Masterton Trophy Ballot

The 2012 NHL Awards take place next month in Las Vegas but until then, the SB Nation hockey crew decided we were going to vote on the awards ourselves. After all, we're much more qualified to make such decisions compared to the PWHA, general managers and owners....right? Each day this week and into next we'll announce one winner, continuing today with the Masterton Trophy.

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, according to SB Nation, is...

Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

Second place: Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs

Third Place: Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators

Pacioretty, as you should recall, was the victim of a devastating hit by Zdeno Chara last season that left the forward with a fracture to his C4 vertabra and a severe concussion. He recovered and went on to have a career season with the Candiens, posting 33 goals and 65 points in 79 games. Joffrey Lupul also had a career year, with 67 points in 66 games for the Maple Leafs after a severe infection following surgery kept him off the ice for nearly a year.

My ballot: (1) Joffrey Lupul, (2) Max Pacioretty, (3) Kari Lehtonen

Why Lehtonen? He's a Dallas Star and I thought he deserved a vote. He's overcome severe injury issues and has become one of the dominant goaltenders in the West.