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Boston Bruins

May 6, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) during the first period of game five of the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Boston Bruins at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins defenseman┬áKevan Miller has been named Boston’s nominee for the 2021 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Miller’s selection is his second straight, and comes from the Boston chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association (PHWA).

Signed to a one-year contract at the start of free agency, the 33-year-old appeared in his first NHL game in 651 days when the Bruins dropped the puck on their 2021 season, and has appeared in 27 games this season, with 19:12 per game (the second-highest nightly average of his NHL career). It’s quite an accomplishment for someone who underwent at least four different knee procedures, and missed the entire 2019-20 as a result of those knee woes.

“I’ve had a lot of help, obviously, to get where I’m at now,” Miller said. “To be playing again, competing, and playing the sport that I love, is awesome. It’s been a long road and I’m happy to be where I’m at now.”

Introduced in the 1967-68 season following the death of the North Stars’ Bill Masterton, the winner of the Masterton Trophy is selected by a vote of the 31 chapters of the PHWA at the conclusion of the regular season.

Boston skaters have won the award four times since its introduced, which currently stands as the third-most in the league (only the Canadiens and Rangers have more wins), with past Bruin winners including Charlie Simmer (1985-86), Gord Kluzak (1989-90), Cam Neely (1993-94), and Phil Kessel (2006-07).