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Johnson nominated for Masterton

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ryan Johnson was announced Friday as the Blackhawks’ nominee for the 2011 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Chicago Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

The award is presented after the end of the regular season by the PHWA to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

“It means a lot,” Johnson said before Friday’s game when told of his nomination. “I’ve been fortunate to play a lot of years and been able to have some longevity. A lot of that comes from the people I came into the league under and showed me what it was like to be a professional.”

Johnson, 34, signed with the Hawks as a free agent in December after working in the offseason to come back from broken bones in his feet. He’s a minus-1 and has six points (goal, five assists) in 30 games.

“Every time you go through some down points, it just makes it that much more rewarding when you make it back to where you want to be,” Johnson said. “There was never a thought in my mind to think it’s not worth doing.”

Johnson prides himself in his offseason workouts and said being patient during his recovery was the hardest part of getting back.

Patience also was required when it was time to sign with a team. Several wanted him to try out without a contract.

“I wanted to be patient and let teams figure out what they knew they had and didn’t have,” Johnson said. “The phone eventually started ringing, and we had three or four options. I just wanted to put myself in the best situation to win a championship.”

Bryan Berard, in 2004, was the last Hawk to win the award.

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