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Utah’s Connor Ingram wins major NHL perseverance award

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah goaltender Connor Ingram is being honored by the National Hockey League for his perseverance through mental health struggles.

The league announced Wednesday that Ingram is this year’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy recipient, which honors a player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” He’ll be officially recognized at the 2024 NHL Awards next month.

Ingram overcame obsessive-compulsive disorder that had gone undiagnosed and “lingering depression” that nearly ended his career early. The 27-year-old opened up about his battle earlier this year in an interview with, saying that his mental health struggles led to alcoholism before he sought help from the league’s player assistance program in 2021.

He also sought in-patient treatment and now regularly meets with a therapist as a part of his recovery.

“It’s like a nagging injury. If you don’t take care of it, it’s going to get worse,” he told the outlet in January. “For the rest of my life, I’ll sit in a stranger’s chair and tell them my problems once a week. It’s just a fact of my life.”

Ingram bounced around the league before and during all of this, but found a home with the Arizona Coyotes. This past season — the team’s last in Arizona before it relocated to Utah — he posted career-best numbers in starts, wins, saves and goals allowed in a breakout season.

In all, he won 23 of the 48 games he started and allowed 2.91 goals per game. He also posted six shutouts, putting him in a four-way tie for the most in the league this past season.

Bill Armstrong, Utah’s general manager, was thrilled with Wednesday’s announcement. He said his story “truly embodies” the spirit of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which was created after Masterton’s death after an in-game incident in 1968.

“Since his return, Connor has not only excelled on the ice but has emerged as an inspiration to hockey players across the globe as he continues to tell his story and emphasize the importance of seeking support during life’s darkest moments,” Armstrong said. “We are immensely proud of Connor and honored to have him represent our team as this year’s winner.”

The 2024 NHL Awards will be held on June 27 (5 p.m. MDT, ESPN) in Las Vegas.

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