(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has nominated Blues goaltender Brian Elliott for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded yearly to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Elliott, 28, was nominated for the award in the 2011-12 season as well, but the award was given to Montreal Canadians’’ winger Max Pacioretty.
Elliott was certainly a deserving candidate last season. The Blues signed Elliott to a one-year, $600,000 contract in the 2011 off-season, and Elliott barely earned an NHL spot over Ben Bishop, who is now with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Elliott was the surprise of last season. He led the NHL in goals against average (1.46) and save percentage (.940) at the end of the season, as he went 23-10-4 in 38 games played. This came after the Avalanche elected not to qualify Elliott at the end of the 2010-11 season.
The Blues picked up Elliott and he propelled them into the playoffs.
If Elliott ends up the recipient of the award, it will be the first time a Blue has won the Masterton Trophy since Jamie McLennan in 1998.
Though Elliott did not win the Masterton last season, he and Jaroslav Halak shared the William Jennings for allowing the fewest regular-season goals.
Elliott got off to a slow start this season, and failed to do his part when Halak went down with a groin injury early in the season. Elliott lost his spot when rookie Jake Allen was called up from Peoria and played a phenomenal stretch of hockey. Elliott watched 11 straight games from the bench as Allen stayed hot in net.
The Blues, with the consent of Elliott, sent the ”net minder” down to Peoria for a two-game conditioning stint on March 28. Since then, Elliott is 8-2-0 with a .947 save percentage. Elliott also has three shutouts in April.
With Halak again sidelined with groin issues, Elliott has been playing in the majority of games. His save percentage is now at .901 after being a disastrous .810 just two months into the season. Elliott currently boasts an 11-8-1 record.
The Blues signed Elliott to a two-year contract extension this past off-season. The extension was worth $3.6 million.
While Elliott is not necessarily the favorite for the trophy this season, it’s certainly an honor for him. But right now, Elliott has his eyes set on the ultimate trophy, which is the Stanley Cup. The Blues, who are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference, have another chance to clinch a playoff berth on Tuesday as the season is nearing a close.