By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller was unable to get on the ice during the 2019-20 season. But his efforts to get back in action did not go unnoticed, as the 32-year-old was voted the Bruins' nominee for the 2019-20 Masterton Trophy as voted on by the Boston chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Suffering a broken kneecap in the penultimate game of the 2018-19 regular season, Miller missed the entire 2019 postseason run when he re-broke it during the rehabilitation process, and was essentially starting from square one when the Bruins returned for the 2019-20 season. The Bruins were cognizant of that, and refused to put Miller on any sort of timeline to game return.
And the rugged Miller would seemingly take baby steps throughout the season, too, skating on his own on numerous occasions.
But every single positive stride seemingly came with two steps backwards, and Miller ultimately required additional surgeries and procedures on his injured knee. It was enough for the team to officially rule him out of the year, even upon a potential July return as then-rumored-and-since-confirmed, back in April.
“He needs to get back to being absolutely, fully healthy," said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. "He’s got a longer timeline to make sure he does things in smaller stages that would afford him the opportunity to be 100 percent healthy and return to play.”
Speaking in a Town Hall with B's season-ticket holders last month, Miller noted that he was recovering from yet another surgery, but that he was off crutches and taking positive strides.
Miller, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has spent his entire 324-game NHL career with the Bruins.
The Masterton Trophy, introduced in 1967-68, is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey.