SAN JOSE Rookie Tommy Wingels has been nominated for the Masterton Memorial Trophy by the San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for his work to help establish the You Can Play Project.
Wingels will be the Sharks candidate in the annual voting by writers to recognize the NHL player who best personifies sportsmanship, perseverance and dedication to the sport of hockey.
Its humbling, Wingels said of his nomination.
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The You Can Play project is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. It is being spearheaded by the family of the late Brendan Burke, son of Toronto GM Brian Burke and brother of Flyers scout Patrick Burke.
Wingels was a close friend of Brendan, who passed away in Feb. 2010 shortly after revealing that he was gay, and is on the advisory board for the project.
I think the biggest thing with this project is awareness, Wingels said earlier this month. The cool part about it is its very easy to be a part of. Whether youre on the board like myself, or youre just a guy in the locker room, its about watching what you say and creating an environment that is safe for everyone. Its easy to be a part of because you really only need to worry about yourself. If every person is conscious, it really makes it a lot easier.