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Pittsburgh Penguins: Kris Letang named Masterton Trophy nominee

CBS News Live
CBS News Pittsburgh Live

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has been nominated for the Masterton Trophy.

The award, named after former NHL forward Bill Masterton, is given annually to the player who best exemplifies qualities such as perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

Letang, 35, finished as a finalist for the award in 2015.

Letang's 2022-23 season has included both personal and professional struggles. The longtime blue liner suffered a second stroke in November and lost his father in January.

"I was public with the stroke because it's something that is way more common than people think," Letang said via the Pittsburgh Penguins' website. "But it can be overlooked and not really paid attention to because it can look harmless. So, people just go on with their life, but there's things to do if you want to be able to not have another stroke, or something else."

Letang suffered a lower-body injury at the tail end of 2022. While in Boston with the Penguins for the Winter Classic, he learned that his father, Claude, had died. Letang returned to his home in Montreal to be with his family, while also getting support from his teammates.

"It was huge," Letang said. "I mean, it's been happening for a lot of years. It's not only this year; I can count on a lot of good friends. Obviously, (Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin) have been with me for 17 years. So, these two guys, they have always been there for me. And they also know what it's like to not be able to play or go through a tough time," Letang said.

Letang has scored 11 goals this season, adding 28 assists, while logging just under 25 minutes of ice time per game.

The Masterton Trophy winner will be announced at the NHL Awards ceremony on June 26.

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