Legace Nominated for Masterton Trophy

Award Given to Athletes for Perseverance, Sportsmanship and Dedication

Monday, 03.24.2008 / 12:12 PM CT / St Louis Blues - Features
By Mike Morreale  - NHL.com
Share with your Friends

Legace Nominated for Masterton Trophy
Two of the more inspirational Masterton Trophy nominees this season as St. Louis’ Manny Legace and Chicago’s Patrick Lalime, who both fought through tough times to reestablish their reputations.
A nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy is the latest honor Legace has added this season.
Please excuse St. Louis Blues goalie Manny Legace while he sets the record straight.

“People will never mistake me for a (Martin) Brodeur or even a (Miikka) Kiprusoff,’’ Legace told NHL.com. “I’m just that type of goalie who’s trying to do enough to keep my team in the game.’’

While that may be true, Legace’s play earned him a spot on the Western Conference for the 2008 NHL All-Star Game. Besing named to the All-Star Game meant the world to Legace.

“I don’t think I stopped smiling for three weeks when I got the news,’’ Legace said. “You have no idea how excited I was when I got the call and how excited I was leading up to game; it was an absolute blast. I always watched All-Star Games on television with my dad. To go out there and not worry about hockey, but just have some fun was great. I had an entourage of about 20 people, including aunts and uncles from Detroit.’’

In the Dodge SuperSkills challenge, Legace stopped four of five attempts in the shootout event, including attempts from New York Rangers' Scott Gomez, Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Philadelphia's Kimmo Timonen in the elimination round. He later stopped Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk on a pair of tries in the breakaway challenge. He worked the third period of the All-Star Game for the West, stopping six of nine shots.

 Masterton Trophy
The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is an annual award under the trusteeship of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. The winner is selected in a poll of all chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season.

A grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

The trophy was first presented by the NHL Writers' Association in 1968 to commemorate the late William Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited, to a high degree, the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, after an injury sustained during a hockey game.
Those close to Legace realize how much that invitation to All-Star weekend in Atlanta must have meant. After all, it was just two seasons ago when Legace established a career-high with 37 victories as the starter in Detroit, yet wasn’t re-signed after the Wings were ousted by the eighth-seeded Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Once we lost in the playoffs, it was kind of obvious the Detroit management was going with someone else,’’ Legace recalled. “(Detroit GM/Vice President) Ken Holland was a total gentleman and not only called my agent to explain the situation, but called me as well, which was something he didn’t have to do. I saw the writing on the wall. The regular season went well, but in this League, you’re judged in the playoffs. I really would have liked to stay in Detroit, but I knew the only way that was going to happen was if I performed well in the playoffs and I couldn’t do it. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself, who knows.’’

While Legace's playoff performance (2.65 goals-against average) might not have been up to his regular-season level (2.19 GAA), the Red Wings’ sudden lack of offense and breakdowns on defense also played a part in their six-game demise to the Oilers in 2005-06.

“It wasn’t a surprise to me that I wasn’t re-signed, but in free agency, thought I’d be able to get a job right away after the year I had,’’ Legace said.

That opportunity didn’t materialize until August of 2006 when the Blues signed him to a one-year contract.

“I was told I’d be competing for the starting role in St. Louis,’’ Legace said. “St. Louis had their share of goalies in the system, so I kind of had to work hard and wait it out.’’

Legace won't take all the credit for success. He gives most of it to goalie coaches Jim Bedard (Detroit) and Rick Wamsley (St. Louis).
Legace went 23-15-5 with a 2.59 GAA for the Blues in his inaugural season, which was shortened due to a mid-season concussion and knee surgery. Still, his play was good enough to earn him a two-year contract extension. This season, Legace has played in a career-high 61 games (25-23-8) and sports a 2.43 GAA, .910 save percentage and four shutouts, including a memorable 31-save, 2-0 victory at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on the last day of 2007. In addition to representing the Western Conference at the All-Star Game, the St. Louis chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association named Legace this year's nominee for the Masterton Trophy.

“It’s a great honor to be nominated for the Masterton, especially since its an award where people recognize how much you’ve gone through in your career to reach a certain point,’’ Legace said.

Legace is quick to single out goalie coaches Jim Bedard in Detroit and Rick Wamsley in St. Louis for helping him achieve such notoriety. Each played a vital role in not only strengthening his game, but his character. Bedard was also his goalie coach with the Niagara Falls Thunder of the Ontario Hockey League. Wamsley won a Stanley Cup as Mike Vernon's backup in Calgary in 1989, much like Legace did in Detroit when he was second behind Dominik Hasek in 2002.

“The good thing about being in the NHL is the fact I had the chance to meet two great coaches in Jim (Bedard) and Rick (Wamsley),’’ Legace said. “They each did wonders for my game and my mental preparation. I wouldn’t be where I am without those two guys. They kept my head on straight; I am very lucky to have them as coaches.’’

In his spare time, Legace is also a spokesman for the Judson Center, a non-profit, human service agency located in southeastern Michigan to help children, adults and families improve their lives.

“Your heart just goes out to the children,’’ Legace said. “They’re kids who haven’t done anything wrong in the world but are not getting the proper care. The Judson Center is a phenomenal group that comes in and opens its doors to anybody, of any race. I’m proud to be a part of it in any capacity.’’




1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54


V. Tarasenko 76 36 35 25 71
A. Steen 73 24 38 6 62
J. Schwartz 69 24 32 12 56
D. Backes 75 25 29 6 54
T. Oshie 67 19 33 13 52
P. Stastny 68 14 29 3 43
A. Pietrangelo 76 6 36 -6 42
J. Lehtera 69 11 29 16 40
K. Shattenkirk 51 8 32 15 40
P. Berglund 71 9 13 -7 22
B. Elliott 24 14 3 .919 2.20
J. Allen 19 6 4 .906 2.45

Single Game Tickets
2015-16 Ticket Plans
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
Renew Your Season Tickets
NHL Ticket Exchange
View From Your Seat

In the System
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

Regular Season
Practice Schedule
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

Player Stats
League Standings

Blues Overtime Blog

Video Channels
Game Highlights


Find a Player
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.