Adam McQuaid earns a slot as a finalist for the Masterson.


May 4, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman

Adam McQuaid

(54) clears the puck away from goalie

Tuukka Rask

(40) during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Masterson Trophy is given out to the NHL player who represents the best qualities of dedication, endurance, and a commitment to play.  The award is usually given out to a player that has returned to the ice after battling serious illness or injury.  The finalists were announced yesterday. They were Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby , Minnesota’s Josh Harding, and the Boston Bruins’ Adam McQuaid. While the Selke might not go to a Bruin this year, if any player has persevered and came back swinging it’s the Bruins defenseman.

McQuaid has had a rough last twelve months playing in the NHL. He was unable to play in last year’s post season due to an injury caused by a hit from the Washington CapitalsJason Chimera. (Makes me wonder if #54 is going to look up an old number for that hit in tonight’s game.) After the Bruins early withdrawal from the post season(at the hands of the Capitals), McQuaid went back to his normal work out routine. Unfortunately, he was sidelined with a far more serious problem just after the lockout was starting.

McQuaid suffered a minor injury while practicing with Bruins players in early October. That injury caused blood clots to form in his arm, causing it to swell. By the time the official diagnosis was made(Thoracic Outlet Syndrome- TOS occurs when compression at the superior thoracic outlet wherein excess pressure placed on a neurovascular bundle passing between the anterior scalene and middle scalene muscles. [Essentially, a life threatening pain in the neck.]) #54 required near immediate surgery. One operation removed the life threatening clot.  The second required the removal of a rib and muscles in his neck in order to stop this from happening in the future.

“To be honest I think I’ve matured mentally because of all this.” said McQuaid when interviewed about his nomination. ” I’m trying to take a positive approach to everything. Unfortunately injuries are a part of the game, but I don’t want to change the way I approach the game. Maybe I put myself in situations where I can get dinged up, but I can’t change the way I play. It’s definitely something I’m going to reflect on at the end of the year.”