Florida Panthers

Jaromir Jagr finalist for NHL award which honors commitment to game

Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr is shown during warmups before the start of Game 2 in a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the New York Islanders, Friday, April 15, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla.
Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr is shown during warmups before the start of Game 2 in a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the New York Islanders, Friday, April 15, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. AP

Jaromir Jagr already planned on being in Las Vegas and now he has a reason to check out the Hard Rock casino.

On Sunday, Jagr was named one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy which honors the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

The winner -- Mats Zuccarello of the Rangers and Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis are the other finalists -- will be announced at the NHL Award Show from the Hard Rock on June 22.

Jagr, 44, was an easy choice to be the Panthers' nominee from the Florida chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association after he led the team in scoring with 66 points and was second with 27 goals. This year, Jagr became the oldest player in NHL history to hit the 60-point mark.

Linemate Sasha Barkov was nominated for the Lady Byng Trophy which honors "gentlemanly play" at a high level on Saturday and is expected to join Jagr at the award show.

Florida coach Gerard Gallant and general manager Dale Tallon could also be nominated in their respective categories later this week.

"You have to love the game if you’re going to play at a high level,” Jagr said when nominated for the award last month.

Said Barkov: "You have to love the game if you’re going to play it when you’re 44 and play like he plays every night. He gives 100 percent, works out at 5 a.m. He wants to get better every day. It’s unbelievable.”

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