Columbus Blue Jackets Goaltender Curtis Sanford Nominated for 2012 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has nominated Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis Sanford for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the club announced today. The award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Sanford, 32, has compiled a 10-18-4 record with a 2.60 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and one shutout in 36 games this season, seeing his first NHL action since 2008-09 with Vancouver and setting a career high for NHL games played in a season (34 with St. Louis in 2005-06). He spent the past two seasons in the American Hockey League and underwent shoulder surgery last March before signing a two-way NHL/AHL contract with Columbus in July 2011.
He missed 11 games early in the season after suffering a groin injury in October before making his first start as a Blue Jacket on Nov. 17 at Boston. His 26-save effort in a 2-1 shootout loss vs. the defending Stanley Cup champions was the first of 12 consecutive starts in which he went 5-4-3 with a 2.51 GAA and .909 SV%. The Owen Sound, Ontario native, who has played in the UHL, ECHL, AHL and NHL during his 12-plus professional seasons, made 31 saves in a 1-0 win at Los Angeles on January 7 to record his first NHL shutout since Dec. 28, 2008 (18 saves vs. Ottawa with Vancouver).
The winner of the Masterton Trophy is selected by a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the conclusion of the regular season. The trophy was first presented by the NHL writers in 1968 in honor of the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited the qualities for which the trophy embodies, and who died on Jan. 15, 1968. Last year’s winner was Philadelphia’s Ian Laperriere. Previous Blue Jackets nominees for the award include: Kevin Dineen (2000-01 and 2001-02, finalist both years), Luke Richardson (2002-03), Manny Malhotra (2003-04), Duvie Westcott (2005-06), Fredrik Norrena (2006-07), Pascal Leclaire (2007-08), Raffi Torres (2008-09), Jared Boll (2009-10) and Derek MacKenzie (2010-11).
The Blue Jackets return to action tonight when the club hosts the Chicago Blackhawks. Game time from Nationwide Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio HD begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on the Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, and online at BlueJackets.com.
Single game tickets for the Blue Jackets home games starting at $26 are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, The OhioHealth Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can also purchase tickets by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at BlueJackets.com, the official club web site, and www.ticketmaster.com.
The 2013 NHL All-Star Game is coming to Columbus Jan. 26-27, 2013. Fans can guarantee access to seats for both the game and Skills Challenge now by reserving a full or partial season ticket plan for the Blue Jackets’ 2012-13 season. Ticket plans start at less than $15 per game. In addition to guaranteed access to All-Star tickets, full and partial-season ticket holders receive a number of great benefits including significant savings versus single-game prices; the best available seat locations; exclusive access to events with players and coaches; and priority access to tickets for most other events at Nationwide Arena and the Jerome Schottenstein Center. For more information, call (800) NHL-COLS or visit BlueJackets.com.