SAN JOSE -- Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock has been nominated for the NHL’s Masterton Trophy, given annually by the league for perseverance and dedication to hockey.
The 26-year-old was chosen to represent the Sharks by the San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association.
A serious nerve injury behind his left knee nearly ended Stalock’s career in AHL Worcester on Feb. 4, 2011, just days after his NHL debut. He needed nearly a full calendar year to recover, and now in his first full NHL season, Stalock is 11-5-2 with a 1.91 goals-against average and .930 save percentage acting primarily as Antti Niemi’s backup.
"Obviously, it took some work, time and patience, but I don't think it would have been possible without having the right group around me, that's for sure,” Stalock said. “I've seen it before. Maybe an organization doesn't take care of a guy. Maybe they say good luck, shake hands and move on. It was the complete opposite here."
At one point during his recovery, Stalock, a fourth-round pick of the Sharks in 2005, was told there was only a 50-50 chance he would play again.
“I didn’t really what care what [the doctors] said, honestly,” he said in January. “It was always in the back of my head there was a chance that I’d be doing something else. Obviously, I wanted to work hard and get to where I was.”
Every NHL team has one nominee, and the finalists are chosen at a later date.