After suffering one of most devastating losses one could imagine, Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore had a phenomenal season in the net and established Saves for Kids in memory of his infant son. The NHL has recognized his perserverance and dedication to the sport by naming Theo a finalist for this year's Masterton Trophy.
Here's the official release courstesy of the Caps PR staff:
Jose Theodore Named a Finalist for Masterton Trophy
Theodore could become first Capitals player to earn award
ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Hockey League announced today that Washington Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore is one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Theodore joins Tampa Bay’s Kurtis Foster and San Jose’s Jed Ortmeyer as the three finalists.
The Washington Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association nominated Theodore as the Capitals representative for the award at the conclusion of the regular season. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Theodore could become the first Capital to win the Masterton Trophy since it was first awarded following the 1967-68 regular season. The Laval, Quebec, native and his wife Stephanie Cloutier lost their two-month old son, Chace, last August from respiratory complications related to a premature birth. Inspired by the memory of his son, Theodore created Saves for Kids, a fundraising program benefitting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s National Medical Center where Jose and Stephanie spent most of their time during their son’s 54-day life.
This season, Theodore played 47 games with a 30-7-7 record, 2.81 goals against average and .911 save percentage. His winning percentage (.761) was the highest of any goaltender in franchise history. He finished the season 20-0-3 with a 2.58 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in games since Jan. 13, setting a team record for most decisions (23) without a regulation loss.
A 14th-year professional and former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner, Theodore ranks seventh among active goalies in games played (548) and in wins (245). He is one of seven active goaltenders with 30-plus wins in each of the last two seasons.