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Panthers' Tomas Kopecky Selected As Nominee For Bill Masterson Trophy

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SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers may have fallen short of their goal to make the playoffs, but that doesn't mean the season hasn't had its fair share of success.

The South Florida chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association has announced that Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky has been selected as the team's 2015 nominee for the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy.

Each season the Masterson Trophy is awarded to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey".

The winner will be selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA following the conclusion of the regular season.

A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is rewarded annually to the Bill Masterson Scholarship Fund in the name of the winner.

After missing much of last season after suffering a concussion, Kopecky has been a great presence for the Panthers this year both on and off the ice.

While he's only played 63 games, the veteran forward has done a great job working with the Panthers young core group of players, providing a steady stream of consistency and professionalism.

Kopecky is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent following the end of the season.

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