Eyssimont’s Perseverance Rewarded With Masterton Trophy Nomination

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nicholas Paul (20) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with forward Michael Eyssimont (23) and forward Ross Colton (79) during the third period of Game 5 Thursday night in Toronto.
Photo Credit: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

Last season, Michael (Mikey) Eyssimont bounced from one National Hockey League (NHL) team to another, trying to find a place he could call home. A one game stint with the Winnipeg Jets two years ago opened the door for him to see more action and playing time in 2022-23. He played 19 games, tallying five points and a plus-5 rating, but only averaged 10 minutes per game. That led the Jets to place the young forward on waivers, where he was quickly scooped up by the rebuilding San Jose Sharks. With eight points in 20 games and a willingness to get under the skin of opponents, he caught the eye of a few general managers.

Looking to add some more toughness to their bottom six, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien Brisebois acquired Eyssimont from the Sharks in exchange for top six forward Vladislav Namestnikov. He struggled early on, posting two points and a minus-3 rating in 15 games with the Bolts. However, after getting knocked out of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a concussion, he returned in Game 5 and had two points (one goal, one assist) in helping the Lightning stave off elimination. While they ultimately fell in six games to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brisebois rewarded Eyssimont’s postseason performance by signing him to a two-year, $1.6 million contract in early May of 2023.

One year later, Eyssimont is being rewarded yet again. His perseverance and dedication to the sport of hockey led the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) to name him as the Lightning’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy.

In his first season with the Lightning, Eyssimont is thriving. He has 24 points and a plus-8 rating in 76 games played while centering the third line. He also isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas in front of the net and is shooting the puck more, with 139 shots on goal thus far. More than that, coach Jon Cooper trusts him in some big situations, as he’s averaging nearly 12 minutes on ice as opposed to the 10 he saw last year.

The Masterton Trophy will be awarded at the NHL Awards Show, set to take place on June 26, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Will Eyssimont be named a finalist for the Masterton Trophy, let alone win it? It’s unlikely, as he has some tough competition across the league, but being nominated is proof that his hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. For that, he should be proud.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Lauren Burg

Lauren Burg is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer for “Inside the Rink.” A lifelong Tampa Bay Area resident, she graduated from the University of South Florida’s world-renowned journalism program in December 2009. While in college, she discovered hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning. She quickly became a passionate fan, attending many games over the years. She also experienced an All-Star game in 2018, numerous road games, and, most recently, the Bolts back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Since graduating college, she’s been working hard to combine her two loves, writing and hockey, hoping to one day make that her full-time career. In her free time, she enjoys attending sporting events (both home & road when possible), taking photos, and traveling.

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