After having been named one of three finalists for both the Ted Lindsay Award and Hart Trophy, Sidney Crosby is now a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for 2013.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
After missing large parts of two seasons due to ongoing concussion symptoms, Crosby entered what remained of the 2013 season in January all systems go.
Crosby, 25, missed most of the previous two seasons dealing with concussion issues, and then the first half of the 2012-13 season -- along with the rest of the League -- during the lockout. Questions were asked if Crosby ever could be the same player he was prior to his injuries. Instead, he returned better than ever this season.
Crosby entered with a career average of 1.40 points per game, but in 2012-13 he had 56 points in 36 games, an average of 1.55. He also played every game for the Penguins until sustaining a broken jaw March 30 that ended his regular season. Despite sitting out the final month, he remained the League's leading scorer until the final week of the season, and he finished tied for third. Crosby also continued to evolve his game, posting a career-best plus-26 rating. He is a finalist for the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award as well.
Pittsburgh made hay in the regular season, finishing with the league's second-best record and the top offensive attack in hockey. Three-fourths of that attack was led by Crosby, who, in uncharacteristic fashion, separated himself from the field with MVP-caliber play before a season-ending injury to his upper-neck area brought the rest of the league up with the tide.
Crosby recorded 56 points in 36 regular season games. While it wasn't enough to hang on to the Art Ross Trophy or his unanimous favorite status in the Hart Trophy race, it was still good enough to get him on the ballot. All the ballots.
Crosby returned to the postseason in Game 2 of the Pens' Quarterfinals round against the Islanders, posting 3 goals and 9 points in five games played.