NHL: Connor Ingram won the Bill Masterton Trophy

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram has won the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, the NHL announced Wednesday.

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen and Calgary Flames defenseman Oliver Kylington were the other two finalists.

Ingram nearly retired due to undiagnosed obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and ongoing depression before seeking support through the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program in 2021, which according to him changed his life and his career.

“You don’t do this kind of thing for rewards. I did it to get my life back together,” Ingram told theAssociated Press Wednesday.

“Being recognized for that is something that a lot of people who have turned their lives around don’t get. »

Claimed by Arizona in October 2022, Ingram played 27 games with the club in 2022-23 and established himself as the Coyotes’ top goaltender the following season. He posted a 23-21-3 record with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. He had six shutouts, tied for first in the league, in 50 appearances in net.

In the meantime, the team led by Quebec coach André Tourigny moved to Salt Lake City under a name that has yet to be revealed.

Anderson learned at the start of the season that he suffered from a blood clotting problem, which caused him to miss 49 games from November 4 to March 7. Upon his return, the goaltender maintained a 9-1-0 record, a 1.30 GAA and a .951 efficiency with three shutouts to help the Canes finish third overall.

Kylington, for his part, returned to the Flames lineup at the end of January after more than a year and a half of absence for mental health reasons.

The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for this trophy at the end of the regular season and the three players with the most votes were named finalists.

“The other two guys were more than deserving, so to be in this group and be a part of it is pretty exciting,” admitted the trophy winner.

Ingram was on the Nashville Predators practice squad at the start of the pandemic-delayed and shortened 2021 season when he was entered into the player assistance program and left the Predators at the end of the season. month of January.

He returned to play a few games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, but it wasn’t until he sold his house and cars and moved from his hometown of Saskatoon to Nashville that summer that he met his fiancée and got back on track.

“I just started again,” he said. “It was good for me, and it was good to start again. »

Ingram made his NHL debut on October 24, 2021 — about nine months after coming through the program — and appeared in four playoff games in the spring of 2022, when Juuse Saros was injured and David Rittich was out. was not up to par in the first match of the initial round.

Claimed off waivers by the Coyotes in October 2022, he has since made 74 starts, sharing the net with Karel Vejmelka, who has become a friend and seatmate on coaches and planes.

“Half the time when I have something to say, he wants to talk about it too,” Ingram said. “We are quite similar and we think a lot alike. So he’s a good guy to have around. »

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