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Criticisms fly as Buffalo nominates O’Reilly for Masterton

Ryan O'Reilly, John Tavares

Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly (90) and New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) battle for the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday Dec. 31, 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y. The Islanders won 2-1. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)


The Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association has nominated Ryan O’Reilly for this year’s Masterton Trophy, the Buffalo News reported on Monday.

And, subsequently, the Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Associate is now under scrutiny.

The Masterton is given annually to the NHL player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

As such, pundits are taking issue with Buffalo’s nomination going to O’Reilly, who made news last summer when he was charged with impaired driving following an incident in Ontario -- an incident in which he crashed his truck into a Tim Horton’s restaurant, and fled the scene.

Some reading for you...

USA Today: Ryan O’Reilly is the most baffling Masterton Trophy nominee

Puck Daddy: Ryan O’Reilly Masterton Trophy nomination earns widespread mockery

SB Nation: Why was Ryan O’Reilly nominated for a ‘perseverance’ award while awaiting trial for drunk driving?

Sabre Noise (SI Fansided): O’Reilly’s Masterton nomination is troublesome

A key issue at play is that O’Reilly’s legal future remains unresolved. He’s had his court hearing pushed on a couple of occasions already, and is now set to go to trial in July.

While the News didn’t say how many ballots were cast, it did confirm that O’Reilly finished ahead of second-place Marcus Foligno and third-place Robin Lehner.

The paper also confirmed ten different players received at least one vote.