Devils’ King Clancy Trophy Nominee is Schneider

The King Clancy Memorial Trophy awarded by the NHL goes to a “player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.” Each NHL club nominates a player and this year the Devils have nominated goaltender Cory Schneider.

Despite, or maybe because of, his struggles this season, we saw the best of Schneider’s leadership qualities. When he lost the starting job to Keith Kinkaid, he remained positive and a team guy through and through. Guys on the team talked about how it can affect things if a star goalie like Cory begins to sulk or pout after losing his goal to his backup. But Cory stayed positive and knew it was on him to earn it back, which he did in the playoffs.

But beyond that, Cory also does a lot for the community. He is an advocate of adopting pets from shelters and he and his wife both support the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City. They have done a lot of work in getting them to Prudential Center so that fans can adopt pets and in just raising money for them through other means as well.

He also runs “Cory’s Keepers” a program designed to help promote education among under privileged kids in the Newark area that also rewards them by getting them to Devils games as Cory’s guest.

The KIng Clancy Trophy finalists will be named on Monday, April 30 according to the press release on NHL.com. There will be three finalists chosen for the award which will be given out on June 20 at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.

The winner is “selected by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.” The criteria, according to the press release, for choosing the finalists and winner is: investment of time and resources, commitment to a particular cause or community, creativity of programming, use of influence; engagement of others and measurement of impact.

The winner will also “receive a $40,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of the winner’s choice.” The two runners up will receive $5,000 from the same source for the same purpose.

The press release also noted that “NHL Foundation Player Award is being discontinued, and the associated NHL Foundation charitable donation will be provided through the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.”

The King Clancy Trophy was first awarded in 1988 by the NHL Board of Governors. It is named for Frank “King” Clancy, who served the NHL “as a player, referee, coach, manager and goodwill ambassador.”

No Devils player has ever won this award.

Congratulations to Cory Schneider on this well-deserved honor!

Boyle Named Finalist for Masterton Trophy

The nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, “awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey,” have been named. The Devils’ Brian Boyle is one of three finalists for the award, joining Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers and Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Boyle, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid luekemia at the beginning of training camp will be up for the award on Wednesday, June 20 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

In addition to fighting his own medical battles, Brian’s son, Declan, has been battling medical issues of his own. His bio on the NHL.com nomination page says that “(h)e worked his way back into the lineup by Nov. 1 and notched 10 goals over his first 25 games.” Noted among those goals was the goal he scored against the Canucks on the Devils’ Hockey Fights Cancer Night at The Rock on November 24.

The bio also noted that he participated in the NHL All-Star Game, substituting for an injured Taylor Hall and missed only three games after his debut with New Jersey. It also said that “(w)hile handling his own illness, his family and his career, Boyle has approached every day with the same optimistic attitude and perseverance that has inspired and lifted the Devils’ locker room.”

The 33-year-old Devils forward will see him up against two other players nominated by their local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA): Luongo, the Panthers’ 39-year-old goalie and Staal, the 29-year-old member of the Canes.

Luongo was nominated due to his comeback from an injury that nearly led to the Panthers completing a run for an Eastern Conference playoff berth. His bio notes that in a span of 13 games beginning on February 17, in the heat of the playoff battle, Luongo was 9-3-1 “with a 2.44 GAA and .928 SV%.” He also has lived in Parkland, Florida for 12 years, according to his bio and helped that community heal following the tragic events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The bio says that he gave “a heartfelt, unscripted speech to the crowd at BB&T Center prior to Florida’s game against Washington” on February 22. This was during a ceremony in which the Panthers honored the victims of the shooting at the school.

Staal was nominated due to his role with the Hurricanes as a leader (he was named co-captain prior to the season according to his bio) amidst a family tragedy. Jordan and his wife, Heather, lost their newborn daughter, Hannah in late February. His bio says that she “was delivered stillborn due to a terminal birth defect previously diagnosed by doctors.” Staal would miss only three games for Carolina after this devastating tragedy. His career accomplishments for the season saw him play in his 800th NHL game on December 27 and score his 200th NHL goal on January 12.

All three finalists are well deserving of the honor, as they showed true dedication to the sport through some horrible personal tragedies. The page on NHL.com also states that “(a) $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annualy to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.”

Should Boyle be chosen the winner, he would be the third player in franchise history and the second in team history to win the award named in honor of the late Minnesota North Star. Glenn “Chico” Resch won the award while a member of the Colorado Rockies in 1981-82, the season prior to the team coming east. Ken Daneyko then won in 1999-2000 as a member of the Devils.