- Jesse Rogers, Chicago Cubs beat reporter
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Chicago Blackhawks center Ryan Johnson is the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is annually awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
The Professional Hockey Writers' Association nominates one player from each team and then selects the winner at the end of the regular season.
“It means a lot,” Johnson said on Friday when informed he was nominated. “The sport means a lot to me. It’s been very good to me.”
Johnson, 34, persevered after breaking both his feet last season playing for the Vancouver Canucks. He came to the Hawks on a tryout after the season began and quickly was signed to a contract and called up from the minors.
“I didn’t have the time to let [my feet] heal,” Johnson said. “When you go through some down [times] it just makes it that much more rewarding when you get back to where you want to be. There was never a thought in my mind like it’s not worth doing.”
Johnson has a goal and five assists in 28 games and has won 62 percent of his faceoffs.