The Sabres announced today that the Goose is the team’s nominee for the Masterton Trophy. This trophy is given annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies perseverance, dedication to hockey and sportsmanship. I think all of SabreNation can agree that Goose is a shining example of all three traits.
On the ice, he’s a 7th round draft pick who self-admits that he is not the fleetest of foot (skate?) on the team. However, he’s willing to put forth a 100% effort, often playing the punishing position of right in front of the net. In previous seasons, he’s admitted to trying to beat Chris Drury to the rink, as Drury was always the first player there.
Off the ice, he’s done PSAs encouraging children to read books (featuring the classic line: “Books are the foundation of reading.”) and save our planet. Shoot, they could’ve even done a PSA encompassing both efforts and saved money on the air time. In addition, his teaming up with MotherGoose to promote physical education should also be commended. And – and this is a big one with me – he actually lives in the City of Buffalo, and not in a swanky subdivision in the burbs.
However, after looking at the start of the Masterton nominee list on Mirtle, I’d really be surprised if Goose won. The list so far includes an old fart (Chris Chelios), a player currently battling cancer (Jason Blake), and a goalie who pretty much resurrected his career from the dead (Ty Conkin). Compared to them, all Goose has done is manage to overcome low expectations for his career and become very active in the Buffalo community. No life threatening diseases or injuries, no career resurrection. Just a hardworking guy representing a hard working town.
In my opinion, this highlight of last night’s Rangers game should make him a shoo-in for some kind of award. But what do I know?
I’m kind of worried about Patches. Sure, he managed to play last night after that killer hit from Avery, but he’s admitted he can’t move his neck all that well today. Its been reported in the media that he has whiplash. Should a hockey player that has whiplash even be playing? I realize in the current defensive shortage he may think he has no choice but to play, but is it worth hurting yourself further just to play a game?