Senators star Bobby Ryan's Masterton Award win has fans saying he deserved credit 'but Lindblom should've won'

Ryan took leave from the sport to deal with alcohol problems and on his return from rehab, scored a hattrick, while Lindblom returned after recovering from cancer


                            Senators star Bobby Ryan's Masterton Award win has fans saying he deserved credit 'but Lindblom should've won'
Bobby Ryan (Getty Images)

Bobby Ryan, the forward of the Ottawa Senators, was awarded the 2019-20 Masterton Trophy on Monday. The Professional Hockey Writers Association voted for Ryan, who according to the official NHL site, "exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey". The other frontrunners of the trophy were Stephen Johns (Dallas Stars) and Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia Flyers).

The story behind the win traces back to November last year when Ryan took a leave of absence to enter the NHLPA to deal with alcohol problems. Back fully rehabilitated, he registered a hattrick in his first game on returning. This saw the player being named the No. 1 star of the game, according to NBC Sports. Talking about the honor received, Ryan explained entering the program was the "hardest thing he'd ever done" and he hoped his story would serve as an inspiration. 

"Because I’ve been open and candid about that, I think people have looked at me and said, ‘There’s a very relatable person'," he said as per the Ottawa Sun. "Through my family stuff and now with alcohol issues, I’ve never hidden from it and I’ve always said, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to have to do it in the public eye and I’m going to have to be candid with it." The award and his words struck a chord with the people as they took to social media to laud the winger.

"Congratulations Bobby ....you are an inspiration to a lot ...and u need to know that Keep fighting." a fan wrote.



 

"As someone who has battled substance abuse and conquered it (14+ years of sobriety) this story warms my heart. Professional athletes are viewed as superhuman, for Bobby to humble himself and reach out for help says more about him than his immense hockey talent. Congrats Bobby!" opined another fan.



 

Lindblom was one of the nominees who beat cancer to take the field again and some of the fans felt it was unfair that Ryan was eventually awarded. "Absolutely 0 disrespect to Bobby Ryan, he deserves a lot of credit and respect for what he did. But Lindblom should've won it, and I'm genuinely upset that he didn't. He better win it next year," a tweet read.



 

One of the fans felt all of the nominees had reason to win the award. "They all deserve to win it, I cant be mad. Ryan overcame alcohol addiction and scored a hat trick his 1st game back," he exclaimed as a debate raged on who deserved it the most.



 

"Take a look at Bobby Ryan’s life before he became 'Ryan', add the issues of his father, his hidden life and all of that to his battle with alcohol, there is no doubt at all that Bobby really does deserve this award. Not taking anything away from the other nominees, all deserve it," one of the comments read.



 

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