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L.A., Anaheim writers nominate Handzus, Parros for Masterton

April 6, 2009 | 10:42 pm

Hockey The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Assn. to the NHL player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." It's named for Masterton, the late Minnesota North Stars player who died Jan. 15, 1968, as the result of a head injury he suffered on the ice. The PHWA also contributes to a scholarship fund in Masterton's honor.

The PHWA chapter in each city nominates one player for the award and the field is later narrowed for a final vote. The winner will be recognized during the NHL's annual awards show.

The nomination from the Los Angeles chapter is center Michal Handzus, who bounced back from serious knee surgery to become a stabilizing force and respected leader on a young team. He had only seven goals and 21 points last season but has scored 17 goals (seven on the power play) and 40 points this season.

The Anaheim chapter nominated George Parros, a tough guy who -- like many enforcers -- is articulate and well-spoken off the ice (he is a Princeton graduate, after all). Parros is active in many local charities and this year cut his shoulder-length hair for a charity promotion. Replicas of his thick, dark moustache are sold through the Ducks' team store for the benefit of charity organizations.

 Congratulations to both of them. They stand out in a sport that boasts a lot of truly good guys.

-- Helene Elliott

Left photo: Ducks forward George Parros. Right photo: Kings forward Michal Handzus. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times